VOTE ON ELECTION DAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2020
The federal and state government have enacted many measures to assist individuals, small businesses and nonprofits with economic relief. Please find a list of resources below to link you with the agencies and programs created to help.
State of Connecticut: https://portal.ct.gov/coronavirus
United Way: https://www.unitedwaycfc.org
Food Pantries: https://www.foodpantries.org/ci/ct-norwalk
Fairfield County Community Foundation: https://fccfoundation.org/an-important-update-our-response-to-covid-19/
Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County: https://culturalalliancefc.org/resources/covid-19-resources-ideas-for-artists-cultural-organizations/
Take-Out and Delivery Options: https://www.ctbites.com/blog/2020/3/16/ct-restaurants-shift-to-handle-covid-19-an-ongoing-guide
US Department of the Treasury – Assistance for Small Business
Economic Injury Disaster Loans & Emergency Economic Injury Grants
Refundable Tax Credits for Paid Leave Obligations
Employee Retention Credit
Shared Work Program
Resource Partners for Small Business owners and non-profits in some instances
The CARES Act codifies protections for renters and homeowners. Landlords cannot evict tenants for 120 days provided the landlord’s mortgage is insured, guaranteed, supplemented, protected, or assisted in any way by HUD, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the rural housing voucher program, or the Violence Against Women Act of 1994.
Single-family homeowners with federally backed mortgages (purchased by Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, insured by HUD, VA, or USDA) receive similar protections. Beginning March 18, 2020, financial institutions are prohibited from foreclosing on these properties for 60 days. Borrowers experiencing financial hardship related to the COVID-19 emergency may request up to 180 days of forbearance on their federally-backed mortgage.
Multi-family owners of real property designed for five or more families with loans purchased, insured, or assisted by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or HUD may receive up to 90 days of forbearance for those experiencing financial hardship. Borrowers receiving forbearance may not evict or charge late fees to tenants for the duration of the forbearance period.
Find out if you qualify by visiting the Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac pages and using their lookup tools below.
The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) has also issued guidance that is consistent with state and federal moratoriums that halt all new foreclosure actions, including all foreclosure actions currently in process, and all eviction and ejectments activity for the 60 days from March 20, 2020
On March 31, 2020, Governor Ned Lamont reached an agreement with over 50 credit unions and banks agreed to offer mortgage relief to many of Connecticut’s residents and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about participating financial institutions and answers to frequently asked questions below. Contact and work directly with your mortgage servicer to learn about and apply for available relief.
The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) has also directed housing authorities and housing managers in the state housing portfolio whose residents may have trouble paying rent due to COVID-19-related illness, unemployment, underemployment or hardship to contact their CHFA Asset Manager. The directive to housing authorities and housing managers:
CARES establishes a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that would allow states to provide unemployment compensation to non-traditional employees - such as gig workers, independent contractors, self-employed individuals, freelancers - and individuals not able to work because of the coronavirus outbreak.
In addition, the bill created Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) that will pay unemployed workers $600 a week through July 31, 2020. This compensation will be available to individuals in addition to their regular state or federal unemployment benefits. Notably, receiving FPUC will not restrict a recipient’s eligibility for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
The CARES Act also provides federal funding for Connecticut to administer its Short-Time Compensation or “work sharing” program,which incentivizes employers to agree to reduce employee hours instead of laying off workers, thereby making employees eligible for partial state unemployment benefits.
States can also provide 13 additional weeks of unemployment benefits to workers who need beyond what is provided for in state and federal law.
The CARES Act assists student loan borrowers in several ways.
The bill defers payments, principal, and interest for all federally-owned student loans through September 30, 2020. Student borrowers will also continue to receive credit toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Income-Driven Repayment forgiveness, and loan rehabilitation.
Starting in August, student loan borrowers will begin to receive notices to help inform them that their regular loan payments will resume at the end of September. These notices are intended to provide a transition period to help borrowers stay on track as regular loan payments begin again and to enroll in other relief options (such as income-driven repayment) at such time.
The CARES Act suspends forced collections, which includes garnishment of wages, tax refunds, or other federal benefits, for borrowers that defaulted on their student loans. Negative credit reporting is also prohibited through this time period.
CARES allows schools to make work-study payments available to students unable to work due to work-place closure.
If a student dropped out as a result of COVID-19, it excludes the term from counting toward lifetime subsidized loan eligibility and lifetime Pell Grant eligibility.
For this year, only employers can also contribute up to $5,250 towards an employee’s student loan debts tax-free.