The State of New York is now accepting applications for its $539 million Homeowner Assistance Fund, which is a federally funded program meant to help homeowners who are at risk of default, foreclosure or displacement due to financial hardships resulting from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“For many, buying a home is the greatest source of economic and social stability, and our Homeowner Assistance Fund – the first in the nation to be approved – is a critical tool to help ease the pain of the pandemic felt disproportionately in rural communities, communities of color and immigrant communities,” Governor Hochul stated. “My administration will continue to stand by homeowners, renters and all New Yorkers every step of the way as part of our economic recovery.”
Here is what you need to know.
Who is eligible to apply?
According to the State of New York, you’re eligible to apply if you’re a homeowner who is at least one of the following:
1. Behind or in forbearance on your mortgage
2. In default on a reverse mortgage
3. Behind on property taxes, water or sewage bills
4. Behind on monthly maintenance charges of your coop or condo
5. Behind on chattel loans, retail installment contracts, or other types of home purchase loans and/or lot rent
The state also notes that it expects to get more applications than the $539 million it was allocated by the federal government can handle. For that reason, the state explained that all applications will be processed in the order they are received. So, if you’re in need of assistance, don’t wait to apply!
What type of assistance is available?
According to the State of New York, the Homeowner Assistance Fund provides the following support to eligible homeowners:
1. Financial support to address delinquent housing payments that result in an affordable outcome
2. Access to a call center and case managers who can help you find out about any mortgage relief you may be entitled to and how it will affect your future housing payments
3. Referrals to professional housing counselors or legal service providers who are experts in this field
What documents may you need to provide?
1. Proof of ownership and property type
According to the state, the application process will ask you to input your address into an automatic lookup system. If all of the ownership findings are correct, you won’t need to provide any documents. However, if the ownership findings are not correct, you will be asked to provide one of the following:
Title Deed/ Grant Deed
Property Tax Bill
Homeowner’s Insurance Policy
Co-op Lease (Proprietary Lease)
HOA or Co-op Statement
Heirship Documentation or Will
2. Proof of identity
Likewise, the application will ask you to input your date of birth and Social Security number through an automatic lookup system. If you’re able to confirm your identity, you won’t need to provide any documents. However, if the findings are not correct, you’ll be asked to provide one of the following:
Social Security Card
Other Government-Issued Photo ID
Lawful Permanent Residency Card
3. Income documentation
The application system will attempt to identify your annual household income through your Social Security number and the Social Security numbers of all the adult members of your household. However, if you are unable or unwilling to provide the Social Security numbers, you’ll be asked to provide one of the following:
Proof that you or a permanent member of your household receives income-based benefits, such as SNAP, HEAP, Public Assistance or Section 8.
If the above option doesn’t work, you’ll be asked to provide tax returns for all adult members of your household who file.
If that doesn’t work, you’ll be asked to to upload all income documents for all adult members of your household, which may include W2s or recent paychecks for all adult members of the household, 1099 forms for all of the adult members of the household, pension or annuity benefits statements for all adult members of the household, and a written lease or rent receipts for all rental units.
4. Proof of delinquency
All applicants must provide proof that you’re currently delinquent on monthly housing payments, such as mortgage payments, loans, property taxes and more.
To apply and learn more, click here. If you have additional questions, you can also call 844-776-9423. The line is available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Top photo credit: Nate Torda
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