“Creative and lenient.” That’s what Nashville’s Metro Council is encouraging landlords, banks and mortgage companies to be during the pandemic as many residents confront unemployment and dramatic income loss.
Members will take up a resolution next week that recommends that housing payment collectors waive late fees and create delayed payment plans.
The move builds upon an open letter that some members sent April 2 to remind landlords that they can’t change locks, turn off utilities or empty belongings from homes without permission from the courts.
Evictions and foreclosures are on hold indefinitely. But some on the council say they’ve heard of unauthorized activity by landlords. Their resolution also calls on the state or federal government to do more to protect renters.
The Metro Council is praising utility companies and agencies for waiving late fees and allowing installment pay plans.
“Even with the many measures that have been put in place to provide support to those who have lost significant income, there is still very real concern about being able to make housing payments,” the council resolution states.
Locally, the United Way is coordinating Nashville’s COVID-19 Response Fund. It has raised more than $3 million and handed out about a fifth of that money to nonprofits. Among the recipients are five organizations that assist with emergency rent and mortgage payments.