New York Homeowners Can Apply for Relief Funding to Pay Mortgage, Utilities

New York homeowners will soon be able to access federal funding to help them pay their mortgage bills and avoid foreclosures amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Kathy Hochul said on Monday.

New York was the first state in the country to receive funding under the $ 10 billion Federal Homeowners Assistance Fund, which was given the green light thanks to the COVID-19 economic stimulus package in the spring.

New York will ultimately distribute nearly $ 539 million to qualifying New York homeowners who are at greatest risk of foreclosure or relocation, Hochul said.

The program will be managed by Sustainable Neighborhoods LLC, a non-profit community development finance institution with experience in administering foreclosure prevention in New York City.

The agency hired 23 community organizations to conduct targeted outreach to homeowners who may be at risk, particularly in areas with poor internet access or high levels of homeownership distress.

“This is a critically important program,” she said on Monday. “We can’t wait to get this money out.”

New York Governor Kathy Hochul speaks at an event at the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association on Wednesday, November 10, 2021 in New York City.  Hochul announced funding to revitalize Manhattan's Chinatown.

Many New York City homeowners have been hit by both economic hurdles from the pandemic and damage from Hurricane Ida, which caused devastating flooding on the east coast this summer and killed dozens in several states.

“Low to moderate income homeowners have caught up with mortgage payments,” said Annetta Seecharran, executive director of Chhaya Community Development Corp. -The New Yorkers of the Caribbean. “Our people have been waiting for help for a long time.”

The Landlord Assistance Fund is unrelated to the Federal Emergency Rent Assistance Program, or PIU, which this year provided state-distributed funding to pay rent to landlords on behalf of eligible tenants. .

New York opened its portal to PIU applicants to access $ 2.4 billion in funding in June, and after a slow start to this distribution process, that funding has since been distributed or committed, Hochul said on Monday.

In November, she requested an additional $ 996 million in federal funding to renew New York’s ability to obtain relief for tenants and landlords.

“With this program, we are trying to learn from past programs, which is why we have simplified this and made it much easier for people to apply,” Hochul said in response to questions about whether the application process for landlords be more fluid than the tenants process.

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When can I apply?

Hochul expects the program to be open for applications by January 3, 2022.

How much can I ask for?

Individual applicants can apply for the amount of financing needed to keep up to date with their mortgage or other payments, and / or to pay future mortgage payments, up to $ 50,000, according to the UNHCR website.

What expenses can be covered by the Homeowner Assistance Fund?

Some potential uses of the funding include:

  • Mortgage payments
  • Reduction of mortgage capital
  • Financial assistance that will help a family restore their mortgage payments
  • Payments for utilities, including broadband internet
  • Fees or privileges, such as condominium fees
  • Financial assistance with property taxes
  • Financial assistance to discourage homeowner relocation, such as repairs to maintain the livability of the home

Who is eligible?

Eligible homeowners must reside in New York City in a single-family home, condominium or co-op unit, manufactured home, or two to four unit property in which they live as their primary residence.

The assistance will be structured in the form of a five-year forgivable loan, without interest and without amortization. If the owner stays in the house for a period of five years, the loan will be completely forgiven, according to the Hochul office.

Homeowners are eligible if they are at least 30 days behind on their monthly housing payments, property taxes, utility payments, home loans, retail contracts or maintenance fees in co-op or condominium units, or if they are in a forbearance plan.

An exception would be for homeowners who are currently on mortgage or housing payments but who are unemployed – they may be eligible for up to six months of future New York housing payments.

Financial difficulties linked to the COVID-19 pandemic have caused many families to fall behind on rent or mortgage payments.  New Yorkers will be able to access nearly $ 539 million in relief funds from the Federal Homeowners Assistance Fund to pay for mortgage or utility payments, or access other financial assistance to stay in their homes.

Eligible homeowners must have incomes at or below 100% of the median area income in New York City, according to the UNHCR website.

“To a family who are sitting in their house… and considering what they could do to prevent this foreclosure from happening, the loss of their beloved home – this is the lifeline they have been waiting for” Hochul said.

An owner can only access financing related to his primary residence. The federal program is accessible to those who do not have a traditional mortgage, such as the owners of a mobile home or those who are under contract with an authentic deed, or land contracts.

“It’s not a one size fits all,” Hochul said. “There are a lot of people who have been touched by this and it is for all of them.”

The state will process applications as they arrive, and homeowners who are already in dispute over their homes will be given priority, Hochul said on Monday.

If someone is not able to apply online, they can apply by phone, and a number of Homeowner Assistance Fund resources are available in different languages.

For more information on accessing funding in New York and to be alerted when the application process opens, visit www.nyhomeownerfund.org.

The NYS Homeowner Assistance Fund call center will operate 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday to provide program information and instructions on how to apply.

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Sarah Taddeo is a corporate reporter for the USA Today Network New York State Team. Do you have a tip or a comment? Contact Sarah at [email protected] or (585) 258-2774. Follow her on Twitter @Sjtaddeo. This coverage is only possible with the support of our readers. Please consider becoming a digital subscriber.

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