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Hochul announces up to $539M in Homeowner Assistance Fund to assist New Yorkers

Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 11:21 AM EST
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(WBNG) -- Governor Kathy Hochul announced New York State is the first state in the nation to receive U.S. Department of the Treasury’s approval to launch its Homeowner Assistance Fund.

It is a program that will provide up to $539 million to help eligible homeowners avert mortgage delinquency, default, foreclosure, and displacement. Applications will be accepted beginning Jan. 3, 2022.

“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,” Governor 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.”

Governor Hochul also announced the launch of the NYS HAF program website, an information call center, 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.

Eligible applicants must have household incomes at or below 100% 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 in partnership 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.

During this outreach period, the NYS HAF call center (1-844-77-NYHAF) will operate Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist homeowners and provide critical information about the program and instructions on how to apply.

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