Global Public Policy
Today a bipartisan group of House members introduced H.R. 7809, the Helping Open Properties Endeavor (HOPE) Act, designed to help minimize the economic damage to impacted commercial real estate (CRE) businesses.
The legislation creates a temporary liquidity facility for CRE borrowers that will also assist with the specific debt service challenges faced by commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) borrowers. ICSC believes that without urgent government intervention a prolonged economic downturn is imminent.
“We applaud Congressmen Van Taylor (R-TX), Al Lawson (D-FL) and Andy Barr (R-KY)for outstanding leadership in introducing the HOPE) Act, which is the type of solution needed to help prevent widespread foreclosures that could destabilize the U.S. economy,” ICSC President and CEO Tom McGee said. “As our nation continues to combat the virus, the bill would provide temporary relief plan for CRE borrowers.”
Currently, there is no government financial assistance providing liquidity assistance to CRE borrowers to help meet existing debt service obligations. The lending facilities created by the Treasury and/or the Federal Reserve to date – the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Main Street Lending Program (MSLP) – limit eligibility for owners of passive real estate and have other provisions that are challenging, if not unworkable, for commercial real estate.
"After months of educating policymakers about the challenges of COVID-19 on shopping centers, the specific issues facing CRE borrowers and the lack of federal economic support, we are hopeful that this legislation will provide a bridge to the other side of this crisis and provide a breakwater against the coming tidal wave of foreclosures," ICSC Vice President for Federal Operations Jennifer Platt said.
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