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Urge Congressional Support of HOPE Act (July 29, 2020)

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Dear ICSC Members, 

ICSC continues to aggressively push for policies that support our industry in the midst of the challenges presented by COVID‑19, and I am pleased to share that progress is being made. Working in conjunction with ICSC members, today, Reps. Van Taylor (R‑TX), Andy Barr (R‑KY) and Al Lawson, Jr., (D‑FL) introduced the Helping Open Properties Endeavor (HOPE) Act. The HOPE Act creates a temporary federal liquidity bridge facility administered by financial institutions in exchange for a preferred equity position in the underlying asset.

Over the last several months, we have been exploring options for a liquidity bridge for our owner and developer members who are facing a revenue shortfall and increasing pressure on their ability to pay the debt service on their existing loans. Those with commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) debt have a particular challenge due to the restrictive nature of their loan covenants. The CMBS market is accelerating toward delinquency at a much quicker rate than the 2008 financial crisis. If this $540 billion market is left without assistance, we may witness a historic wave of foreclosures in the fall, permanently destroying jobs for Americans, and blight in communities across the country from abandoned properties. While the HOPE Act would work for any eligible CRE borrower, it is designed to work for CMBS borrowers specifically.

This legislation is urgent and critically important as many retail real estate borrowers are facing liquidity problems. Please help us in our advocacy efforts by sending a message to your Representative to advocate for the HOPE Act, a lending facility in support of retail real estate borrowers and our industry.

Send an email to your Representative here. 

Thank you for your membership and support.

Sincerely,

Tom McGee
President & CEO 
ICSC