State Program to Aid Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

 Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Monday that New York has won federal approval of a program that will provide up to $539 million to help eligible homeowners avert mortgage delinquency, default, foreclosure, and displacement.

Applications for the Homeowner Assistance Fund will be accepted beginning Jan. 3. The NYS HAF program website, an information call center, and a multi-lingual marketing campaign that will help educate homeowners about the program and ensure all New Yorkers, especially those in non-English speaking households, are ready to apply when the application window opens 

“Many New Yorkers are still recovering from the pandemic, and just like we did for renters, our state is now leading the way to provide much-needed economic relief to vulnerable homeowners across the state,” Hochul said. “We know that the economic pain of the pandemic has been felt disproportionately in rural communities, communities of color, and immigrant communities, and this program is a demonstration of our commitment to placing the needs of New Yorkers in need at the heart of our work.

Designed and administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), NYS HAF will target low- to moderate-income homeowners who are behind on mortgage payments, property taxes, water or sewer bills, as well as owners of cooperative or condo units behind on maintenance fees, and manufactured homeowners behind on chattel loans or retail installment contracts.

Eligible applicants may receive financial assistance to catch up on missed housing payments, to reduce mortgage debt to make monthly mortgage payments more affordable, and for homeowners who are unemployed, assistance with up to six months of future housing payments.

Eligible applicants must have household incomes at or below 100 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) and must be at least 30 days delinquent on monthly housing payments for their primary residence. Awards will be capped at $50,000 per household.

Assistance will be structured as a five-year, non-interest, non-amortizing forgivable loan. If the homeowner remains in the home for a period of five years, the loan will be fully forgiven.

In addition, the NYS HAF program is working with the Office of the New York State Attorney General to advocate with mortgage lenders and mortgage servicers to ensure homeowners are receiving all available relief under federal and state rules. This includes extended mortgage terms, deferment of missed payments or forbearance amounts, and lower interest rates to reduce monthly payments.

The state also said it provided $125 million in assistance for landlords whose tenants did not participate in the Emergency Rental Assistance Program or who have vacated their residence with arrears. Hochul also filed an application with the U.S. Department of Treasury for an additional nearly $1 billion in relief for New Yorkers.

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