Homeowners Can Still Access Pandemic Relief Assistance

February 25th, 2022  / Author: Zachariah Peterson
News

Homeowner’s assistance fund has been set up in the US with the goal to support homeowners through financial hardship. Some states have already started the distribution of funds. In Pennsylvania, the application website crashed on the first day due to so many inquiries.

All fifty states have access to more than 9.9 billion dollars in federal funds, which is reserved for homeowners who have a hard time paying their mortgage bills, other housing costs, and medical bills due to the coronavirus.

The money is distributed by states, territories, and tribal governments, so the application process and the maximum amount can vary. Some states, such as Texas and Oregon, have not yet set up the HAF program, but they have been administering pilot assistance programs in order to help the residents as soon as possible.

Californians with low and median incomes who are going through hard times due to the pandemic can apply for up to $80.000 in mortgage relief. Homeowners will get approved if they have proof of debt due to the pandemic and late monthly mortgage payments before December of 2021.

There is also a condition to either have housing expenses that make up more than 40% of a household or to have no alternative mortgage assistance. There are many nonprofit organizations that work on homeowners’ rights, all around the States, helping people to apply for funds.

Assistance for Renters and Landlords

Besides the HAF program, a mortgage payer can request forbearance from their lender. Also, there are some government assistance programs still available not only the homeowners but renters and landlords, too. All of these assistances offer relief options for those financially affected by the pandemic.

For example, governments on all levels are offering reliefs related to avoiding evictions for renters in a form of an Emergency Rental Assistance. This program covers late rent, utilities, and home energy costs, as well as internet service and moving expenses for some households. Renters can cover the monthly payment that is late back from March 2020, but it depends on the local program how much money one applicant can get.

The ERA program is suitable for low-income households, unlike the HAF program which allows funds for both low and medium-income households. The Treasury Department report more than $25 billion went to recipients in need, many of whom were minorities.

Landlords have been struggling due to eviction moratoriums, and since it ended there has been a rise in eviction numbers, but they are still lower than ever. There are helpful options for rental property owners who are struggling. There are programs that allow housing providers to apply directly and get their late monthly payments back.

The Underlying Issue Is the Lack of Affordable Housing

The website crashing of Pensilvanya’s assistance program is an indicator of the number of people struggling with their mortgage, and subsequently, rent payments. The mortgage rate rose one percent year over year, with the 30-year fixed-rate average getting to 3.89% this week.

Rents are skyrocketing, the inventory is historically low, housing prices are constantly surging, and lower-income families are getting priced out of their homes. It is no surprise that many Americans are in need of financial help. Nevertheless, the only thing that will stabilize the market, in the long run, is adding more inventory and getting to affordable prices.

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