Homeowner Assistance Funds available to families in need

Massachusetts

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – If you are a homeowner who was impacted by the pandemic, a new program from the state may be for you.

The big thing about the The Homeowner Assistance Fund is that the income limits are higher than usual programs, so even if you haven’t qualified for these programs in the past, this time may be different.

Here’s an example for Franklin County residents, if you’re in a household of four people and your combined income is at or below roughly $126,000 a year, you could qualify. This program is meant for people who are struggling with mortgage payments because for example they lost their job due to COVID-19. This fund can go to expenses linked to your home.

Greenfield Director of Community & Economic Development MJ Adams told 22News if you think you qualify, it’s better to apply sooner than later, “These funds run out. So if you’re struggling, explore it, get onto it soon and get yourself into the process because it will take a little while to work through a process.”

The application is open on the mass.gov website or you can call the 833-270-2953 to reach their call center.

About the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF)

Mass HAF will provide financial assistance to eligible homeowners who have missed at least 3 home mortgage payments to help them avoid foreclosure. If a homeowner’s application is approved, funds will be provided to a homeowner’s mortgage servicing company (the company that collects their mortgage payments) in order to apply it to the housing loan).

The Massachusetts HAF Program is being administered by the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) and the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency (MassHousing), in collaboration with the Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration and Finance (A&F), the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED), the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and the Massachusetts Division of Banks (the Division).

The Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) was created by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Read more about the Homeowner Assistance Fund Guidance from the U.S. Treasury.

Eligibility

To qualify for HAF assistance, homeowners will need to complete an application and demonstrate that they: 

  • Have experienced a COVID-related impact to their finances on or after January 21, 2020 that caused them to miss 3 or more mortgage payments. The hardship could include job loss, reduction in income, reduction in hours worked, increased costs due to healthcare, increased costs due to the need to care for family members, or other issues which have impacted the household’s income. 
  • Are owner-occupants of a single-family home, condominium or 2- 3- or 4-family home located in Massachusetts. (Funds may not be used for owner-occupied properties of 5 or more units, investor-owned properties, or vacation homes.) 
  • Are using the home as their primary residence 
  • Have an income equal to or less than 150% of Area Median Income (this differs by region and household size). 
  • Have a conforming loan and not a jumbo loan (loan limits vary by region)  

In accordance with Federal HAF Rules, at least 60% of funds must be used to assist homeowners having incomes equal to or less than 100% AMI for their household size. 

Income Limits and Eligibility

HAF assistance is for homeowners whose income is at or below 150% of the area median income (AMI). These limits are different depending on where you live. To check whether you are eligible for the HAF, click here or go to www.massmortgagehelp.org (the official Massachusetts website for the Homeowner Assistance Fund). 

If you are facing an imminent foreclosure within the next 7 days, the Massachusetts Division of Banks may be able to help.

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