Homeowner Assistance Coming Soon – But Not Before Foreclosure Moratorium Expires


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And renters and homeowners can finally seek funds from government Emergency Rental Assistance ProgramNew York homeowners have been waiting more than a year on government assistance for mortgages and expenses.

Last week, NY announced the plan use more than $ 540 million in federal aid funds to help homeowners at risk of foreclosure due to the pandemic.

Federal funds for New York City homeowners are less than a quarter of the $ 2.4 billion in rent reductions.

Some advocates fear that the money will be just a drop in the ocean for owners who have accumulated savings and went into debt to keep their homes. And it looks like the application process won’t begin until September – after the pandemic-fueled ransom moratorium expires on August 31.

The Department of Housing and Community Renewal, the government agency that administers the program, would like to hear from you. If you have any comments or thoughts on what you need from the Homeowner Assistance Program, please email. HAF@nyshcr.org no later than 15:00 on Friday 2 July.

But before you send that email, here’s what you need to know about the proposed homeowner assistance program.

There is a great need, but it is not clear exactly how great it is.

The state has nearly four million owner-occupied homes, including over a million in the city. But real-time data on how homeowners have been hit by the pandemic is hard to come by because mortgage collectors and tax agencies are so decentralized.

However, a couple of recent studies provide some clues. And if THE CITY’s Open Newsroom mailbox is one sign, many homeowners are suffering.

Nearly 75,000 homeowners in the city will be at risk of foreclosure next year, according to a recent report. analysis Center for the boroughs of New York.

Discovered separate analysis from HCR nearly 135,000 homeowners across the state could be at risk of foreclosure this year.

Yanchen Chadotsang, Home Ownership Program Manager at Chhaya CDC in Queens, said any estimates of how many New Yorkers are at risk of foreclosure are likely to be understated. That’s because the numbers don’t include homeowners who borrowed from friends and family or emptied their retirement or savings accounts to help cover their expenses.

While some homeowners have shown patience during the pandemic to push back mortgage payments for an agreed period, that deadline is about to expire and some are facing potential balloon payments across the entire debt.

“The abstinence plan has been a huge resource that has helped many homeowners survive the pandemic, but the focus is now on what happens after abstinence,” Chadotsang said.

In addition to solving mortgage problems, some homeowners are delaying property taxes, water bills, repairs, and other expenses.

Who is Eligible for Homeowner Assistance

Homeowners who earn less average regional income, which amounts to $ 107,400 for a family of three, are eligible for assistance.

The same is true for homeowners who earn less than 150% of the median income in the area and meet the federal government’s definition:socially disadvantaged“Which includes“ those who are racially, ethnically or culturally biased because of their belonging to a group without regard for their individual qualities. ”Any non-white homeowner falls under this definition of“ socially disadvantaged ”.

To qualify for the relief fund, homeowners will also have to demonstrate some kind of financial hardship, such as loss of income or additional costs caused by the pandemic.

In addition, anyone planning to seek help must currently be living in their own home as their primary residence. Residences can be a single family home, condominium, co-op, mobile home, or a two or four family home.

Owners will be required to provide certain documentation that has not yet been detailed.

You can see all the details about the proposed eligibility requirements. here

The new program has three different options

First option intended for homeowners with mortgages who are out of tolerance and homeowners who are out of patience and are delaying their mortgage payments. The reimbursement is available in the form of a five-year forgiveness loan for the amount of money needed to change your mortgage so that you can better afford it in the future, or the amount of money needed to pay off your mortgage. Homeowners can get up to $ 50,000.

Second option intended for homeowners who do not have a mortgage but who do not pay property taxes, water bills, insurance, condominium or co-op fees. The relief is a five-year farewell loan with a debt not exceeding $ 50,000.

The third option is in addition to one of the first two options for owners who are unemployed or unable to pay housing costs. To qualify for the third option, before the pandemic, homeowners had to earn less than 80% of the average income in the area. If you qualify for this third option, you can get up to six months of future housing benefits to stay afloat as the economy recovers. These six payments are in addition to other benefits and will be funded by another bank of federal money called Community Development Block Grants.

You can read the complete plan proposal or summary here

When to expect relief

The Department of Housing and Community Renewal released its homeowner assistance program plan on June 15, and the public comment period is open until July 2.Remember: If you have any comments or thoughts on what you need from the Homeowner Assistance Program, please email. HAF@nyshcr.org no later than 3:00 pm on Friday July 2nd.)

New York must submit its plan to the federal government by June 30 for approval. But that date could be extended because the federal government can offer states additional instructions that they must follow.

Then, in July and August, the state will prepare to launch the program by setting up a hotline and an online application.

The app portal won’t open until early September, according to the Department of Housing and Community Renewal. You can apply online or by phone with a housing consultant.

But isn’t this after the moratorium on evictions and alienation of property expires?

Yes. The New York City foreclosure and eviction moratorium expires on August 31, so technically homeowners could be vulnerable to foreclosures before this relief fund opens.

Rene Arlen, Housing Consultant at Cypress Hills LDC, said: “The target month for the launch is September, which is insane because there is an urgent end date for the moratorium.”

On a timetable, an HCR spokesperson said the agency is “in close contact” with mortgage collectors and tax authorities and believes it will “work with them to use these funds to prevent foreclosures and stabilize homeowners’ economies. around the world. New York.”

Arlen was also adamant about keeping the application process simple and accessible.

He said he was concerned that if the process was too complicated, the homeowners most in need would lose money. These concerns were echoed by advocates who dealt with the first round of rent cuts, a new rent reduction program and a government fund to help undocumented workers.

Annette Sicharran, CEO of Chhaya CDC, said: “People are desperate for help. There are many small homeowners in this city who have the same income as the tenants and work in the same locations as the tenants. Even if they meet all the requirements, this money will run out. “

She said the potential foreclosure crisis triggered by the pandemic is more than this program can fix.

“This is a small patch and it won’t stop the bleeding completely,” she said.

An HCR spokesperson said the agency will create a structure that determines which candidates should be prioritized “if demand exceeds available resources.”

Again, this is how you can weigh

Email HAF@nyshcr.org by 15.00 on July 2.

How to get help before applying

You can call State Homeowner Services and contact a housing advisor to help you prepare for your application at 646-786-0888.

What we read

City Limits also showed that the city government that investigates housing discrimination is severely understaffed

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