The almost secret stimulus payment to homeowners: here are the details
Homeowner Assistance Fund: Another Incentive Payment for Homeowners
Are you a homeowner and struggling to pay your bills? If so, the Biden administration might have a lifeline for you.
The US bailout, President Biden’s COVID-19 stimulus bill, was passed in March. The bill, nearly two hundred and fifty pages long in total, made requests for funding for many government COVID relief programs. One of these programs, the Homeowners Assistance Fund, was specifically intended for homeowners at risk in need of low-interest temporary loans and other relief.
How it works
The March 2021 package set aside $ 10 billion specifically for homeowner assistance. This means that homeowners who are struggling to pay their basic bills can apply for emergency funds from the government. These funds can be used for all expenses related to the house, including paying the mortgage, property taxes, home insurance, utility bills, and other related costs.
Interestingly, the federal government has chosen to provide this relief program through state agencies. This means that, rather than working out of Washington and taking advantage of a unified budget, each state has a smaller budget and mission to deal with claims specifically made in that state.
And the amount of aid available per state varies enormously. While the Treasury Department has mentionned that each state will receive at least $ 50 million, the upper amounts being very different from state to state; California and New York, as you might expect, will earn much more than Oklahoma or Wyoming. Non-states and U.S. territories including Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, and Guam are also eligible for these benefits.
To clarify the status of benefits in your state, or for additional information, you can contact your state’s housing agency.
The warning (s)
The first caveat is that the funds must be fully utilized by September 30, 2025. Given the high number of struggling homeowners, however, this can probably be accomplished without difficulty.
The second caveat is that not everyone is entitled to mortgage relief. To be eligible, you must own your own home, continue to pay your mortgage regularly, and have a balance of less than $ 550,000. If you meet all of these criteria, you are encouraged to apply for funds through your state agency.
The final caveat specifies that 60% of aid must be provided to people earning either less than the national median income or less than the median income in their region. Fortunately, you can use the higher number.
Trevor Filseth is a journalist and writer for the national interest.