Struggling low- and moderate-income homeowners — including those in co-ops and condominiums — can now apply for financial help from the state's $539 million Homeowner Assistance Fund, Crain's reports. The program will provide aid to eligible homeowners at risk of default, foreclosure or displacement because of the pandemic. The money can be used to pay arrears in monthly charges, utilities, water and sewer bills, taxes, mortgage debt and various other expenses.
New York is the first state to win federal approval to launch its Homeowner Assistance Fund, which is part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan approved by President Biden and Congress in March. Not a single dollar of the state’s $539 million share of the rescue money had been available until now, which prompted a contingent of New York State legislators to write to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, arguing that the money was desperately needed “to prevent displacement of homeowners and mitigate hardships associated with the pandemic.”
New York State Homes and Community Renewal designed the program. Eligible applicants must have household incomes at or below 100% of the deemed “Area Median Income” and must be at least 30 days delinquent on monthly housing payments for their primary residence. Funding will be capped at $50,000 per household. Unemployed homeowners can receive up to six months of future housing payments.
The money will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. The state's $539 million allocation is not likely to meet the demand, so prompt action is advised. Homeowners can apply at nyhomeownerfund.org and can call 844-776-9423 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday with questions.
“Whether you live in a manufactured home, a condominium, co-op or a single-family home, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible to receive assistance,” says Christie Peale, chief executive at the nonprofit Sustainable Neighborhoods, which is administering the program. “It is urgent that we help as many families as possible keep their homes despite the damaging impacts of the pandemic.”
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