Homeowner Assistance Fund Information
US Congress Gives American Homeowners A Generous Mortgage Relief Program
The Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) was established to mitigate financial hardships associated with the coronavirus pandemic by providing funds to eligible entities for the purpose of preventing homeowner mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacements of homeowners experiencing financial hardship after January 21, 2020, through
qualified expenses related to mortgages and housing.
The U.S. Treasury guidance was issued to the entities, like CalHFA, that will be administering the Mortgage Relief fund. The following is a selection of the key elements of that guidance:
Homeowners are eligible to receive amounts allocated to a HAF participant under the HAF if they experienced a financial hardship after January 21, 2020 and have incomes equal to or less than 150% of the area median income. A HAF participant may provide HAF funds only to a homeowner with respect to qualified expenses related to the dwelling that is such homeowner's primary residence.
HAF participants must require homeowners to attest that they experienced financial hardship after January 21, 2020. The attestation must describe the nature of the financial hardship (for example, job loss, reduction in income, or increased costs due to healthcare or the need to care for a family member).
Not less than 60% of amounts made available to each HAF participant must be used for qualified expenses that assist homeowners having incomes equal to or less than 100% of the area median income or equal to or less than 100% of the median income for the United States, whichever is greater. Any amount not made available to homeowners that meet this income-targeting requirement must be prioritized for assistance to socially disadvantaged individuals, with funds remaining after such prioritization being made available for other eligible homeowners.
Socially disadvantaged individuals are those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias because of their identity as a member of a group without regard to their individual qualities. The social disadvantage must stem from circumstances beyond their control. There is a rebuttable presumption that the following individuals are socially disadvantaged: Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. In addition, an individual may be determined to be a socially disadvantaged individual in accordance with the procedures set forth at 13 CFR 124.103(c) or (d)
HAF participants may use funding from the HAF only for the following types of qualified expenses that are for the purpose of preventing homeowner mortgage delinquencies, homeowner mortgage defaults, homeowner mortgage foreclosures, homeowner loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacements of homeowners experiencing financial hardship:
1. Mortgage Payment Assistance.
2. Financial assistance to allow a homeowner to reinstate a mortgage or to
pay other housing-related costs related to a period of forbearance,
delinquency, or default.
3. Mortgage principal reduction, including with respect to a second mortgage
provided by a nonprofit or government entity.
4. Facilitating mortgage interest rate reductions.
5. Payment Assistance For:
a. homeowner’s utilities, including electric, gas, home energy, and
b. homeowner’s internet service, including broadband internet access
service, as defined in 47 CFR 8.1(b) (or any successor regulation);
c. homeowner’s insurance, flood insurance, and mortgage insurance.
d. homeowner’s association fees or liens, condominium association
fees, or common charges; and
e. down payment assistance loans provided by nonprofit or
6. Payment assistance for delinquent property taxes to prevent homeowner
7. Measures to prevent homeowner displacement, such as home repairs to
maintain the habitability of a home or assistance to enable households to
receive clear title to their properties.