Fannie Mae has extended its multifamily COVID-19 forbearance program through March 31, 2021, three months past its original sunset date of December 31, 2020.

To qualify forbearance coverage, multifamily owners must agree to suspend all evictions for renters unable to make rent payments during the forbearance period, according to an announcement from Fannie Mae.

“Fannie Mae is proud to extend forbearance options to protect multifamily tenants and assist property owners financially impacted by COVID-19,” Michele Evans, EVP and head of multifamily, said in a statement. “The forbearance extension will continue to safeguard renters by suspending all evictions for nonpayment of rent and allow for flexible repayments, which will help keep people in their apartments.”

Because the goal of the program is to aid renters unable to make rent payments, multifamily owners are required to notify tenants in writing that they are receiving forbearance coverage. Multifamily owners must also give tenants a flexible re-payment plan to settle back rent debts, and they cannot charge late payments or penalty fees for non-payment.

Freddie Mac also extended its forbearance program for multifamily borrowers to March 31, 2021. Like Fannie Mae, borrowers in the pandemic forbearance program are able to defer mortgage payments during the forbearance period. Similarly, the Freddie Mac program requires that multifamily borrowers refrain from evicting tenants during the forbearance period, provide flexible re-payment plans to tenants and halt any late fees or penalties for non-rent payment to qualify for the program.

Both GSEs announced forbearance plans at the beginning of the pandemic in March, originally giving multifamily borrowers only three months of forbearance. While the programs differ in some respects, they both allow borrowers to delay mortgage payments to help support renters unable to make rent payments during the pandemic.