While it is unknown if the federal government will issue the fourth batch of stimulus checks, homeowners around the country may be eligible for further financial assistance now through the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF).
The goal of HAF is to “avoid mortgage delinquencies and defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and relocation of homeowners enduring financial difficulty after January 21, 2020,” according to the Treasury Department.
HAF funding can be used to aid with mortgage payments, homeowner’s insurance, utility bills, and other expenses.
“The law prioritises payments for homeowners who have suffered the greatest challenges,” the Treasury noted on its website, “leveraging local and national income statistics to enhance the impact.”
While HAF monies are not the same as the three stimulus checks the US has issued since the outbreak of COVID-19, they were included in President Joe Biden’s comprehensive stimulus programme, the American Rescue Plan.
According to the Treasury, about $10 billion has been put aside for the fund.
Each participant received a different amount of money, although each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico received at least $50 million each.
The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and tribally designated housing agencies received $498 million, while the territories of Guam, American Samoa, the US Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands received $30 million.
The Treasury Department originally provided 10% of the cash allotted to each state or territory in 2021 for pilot initiatives, but the states were required to submit implementation plans for evaluation before the remaining monies were released.
The precise amount of money each participant received, as well as their implementation plans and feedback, may be seen on the Treasury website’s “HAF Plans” page.
On the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) website, homeowners seeking financial help through the HAF can check the status of their state’s programme.
The site’s HAF page includes a map of the United States that shows whether each state or territory currently has a HAF programme, is operating a trial programme, or has released preliminary information.
The majority of states presently have open HAF programmes, with only seven providing only preliminary information. Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Utah—which only have preliminary information—are not presently accepting applications for aid, but Americans seeking HAF assistance in those states are asked to keep monitoring their local programme websites for updates.
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Some HAF programme websites that are now just providing basic information say when homeowners in the state may be able to apply for HAF assistance. According to Minnesota’s website, the application period will be held from May 17 through June 17.
Homeowners in states with open HAF programmes may find out if they are eligible and apply right now by going to their separate programme websites, which are all listed on the NCSHA page.
According to the NCSHA map, just four states—Colorado, Montana, Oregon, and Washington—and the District of Columbia are currently conducting experimental programmes.
All of their programme websites contain links to applications or directions on how to assess their eligibility and chat with a counsellor about their particular circumstance.
Anyone interested in learning more about HAF programmes sponsored by tribal governments should visit the National American Indian Housing Council’s Tribal Housing Assistance Resource Hub.
The hub also has a U.S. map, and clicking on a certain state will take the user to another page that lists any HAF programmes that are available, as well as their websites and/or contact information.