HOUSING BLOCK

Hochul announces new relief program

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For some families impacted by the economic effects of COVID-19 these last two years, it’s been hell. More so if that same family struggles to make monthly mortgage payments.

But help could be coming.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a first-in-the-nation homeowner assistance fund in December she says can assist eligible homeowners at risk of foreclosure or displacement when the current moratorium expires. To qualify, those households would need income at or below the area median income to qualify.

The state is allocating $539 million to help those in mortgage arrears, funded largely from American Rescue Plan federal dollars, part of a bill signed into law by President Joe Biden this past March.

Administering the fund is New York’s affordable housing agency along with a division of the state’s health and human services department. Joining them is Sustainable Neighborhoods, a non-profit dedicated to foreclosure prevention and homeownership preservation.

Those qualifying for the relief must own and occupy their property as their primary residence, and need to be at least 30 days behind on their monthly payments — which can include mortgage payments, property taxes, or condo or co-op fees.

Homeowners currently in the process of foreclosure, forbearance, or in another type of active legal proceeding, also can qualify for what could be up to six months of future housing payments.

To learn more, visit NYHomeownerFund.org.

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