Get Mortgage Relief From Your State’s Homeowner Assistance Fund Program

You might be eligible to get free money from the government to pay your mortgage and other housing-related costs through your state’s Homeowner Assistance Fund program.

By , Attorney (University of Denver Sturm College of Law)

Update: As of early 2024, many Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) programs described in the article below have used all of their funding and stopped taking applications, particularly in states with high foreclosure rates. But in some states, programs are still open. If you need help making your housing payments, check your state's official HAF program website at the link shown in the chart below to find out if assistance is still available.

In early 2021, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law. This law created a Homeowner Assistance Fund, a federal program, to give $10 billion to the states to help households that fell behind on their mortgages and other housing-related expenses due to COVID-19.

The 50 states and the District of Columbia set up various programs with their allocated funding to distribute the money and assist distressed homeowners. While the programs vary considerably in the types of help offered and amounts provided, this article gives an overview of how they generally work. The chart below gives specifics for each state.

How Homeowner Assistance Fund Programs Generally Work

Again, programs vary from state to state but generally offer assistance with some or all of the following housing costs.

  • Paying off delinquent mortgage payments (principal and interest) so that you can avoid a foreclosure. (You might also qualify for money to pay future mortgage payments.)
  • Reinstating a mortgage after a forbearance.
  • Covering other housing-related costs related to a period of delinquency or default, like homeowners' insurance, property taxes, flood insurance, and mortgage insurance.
  • In some cases, paying utilities, like electric, gas, sewer, and water.
  • Paying overdue homeowners' association or condominium owners' association fees or liens, special assessments, or other common charges.

Funds are normally distributed directly to the mortgage lender or servicer, county treasurer, local taxing authority, utility company, property insurance company, or homeowners' or condominium owners' association as appropriate.

Sometimes, like in Massachusetts, assistance is structured as a nonrecourse grant you don't have to repay. In other cases, like in the District of Columbia, the assistance is in the form of a loan.

Eligibility Requirements for Homeowner Assistance Fund Programs

Each program has its own eligibility requirements. However, usually, you must have a financial hardship (a loss of income or increase in expenses), which occurred on or after January 21, 2020, because of COVID-19. Qualifying hardships normally include job loss, a reduction in income, increased costs due to healthcare, or the need to care for a family member.

Other eligibility requirements typically include some or all of the following.

  • Your home must be in the state where you're applying for assistance.
  • You must own and occupy the property.
  • Your home must be an eligible property type (like a single-family attached or detached home, condominium unit, cooperative, mobile, or manufactured home).
  • The property must be your primary residence. Second homes and investment properties typically don't qualify.
  • Your household income can't exceed maximum income restrictions. Homeowners with household incomes at or below 100% or 150% of the applicable area median income (AMI) can qualify, depending on the program and the kind of assistance sought.
  • The housing expense you're seeking assistance for must have become due on or after January 21, 2020.
  • The original principal balance of the loan must have been less than the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac conforming loan limits at the time of origination.
  • You can't have an active bankruptcy case.
  • A business, like an LLC or LP, can't own the home.
  • You can't work out an alternative through your mortgage servicer.

Again, eligibility requirements differ between states and even within various state programs. Also, homeowner assistance programs and requirements change often, and determining whether you're eligible for a particular program can be a complicated process. Not all lenders and servicers participate in every program. Be sure to check your state's official Homeowner Assistance Fund program website (see below) for the most recent information and eligibility requirements.

How to Apply for a Homeowner Assistance Fund Program

To apply for funding from a state-specific program, go to your state's official Homeowner Assistance Fund website, shown in the chart below. Depending on the program, you'll usually need to provide some documentation with your application, like:

  • paperwork showing your income (pay stubs, W2s, or other wage statements, IRS Form 1099s, tax filings, bank statements, or a statement of income from an employer)
  • Social Security, child support, unemployment, and other income statements as applicable
  • mortgage statements or other mortgage documents
  • property tax statements from your city or town
  • utility bills
  • homeowners' or condominium owners' association bills, and
  • identification, such as a state ID, driver's license, or passport.

How Long Will the Homeowner Assistance Fund Programs Last?

Most Homeowner Assistance Fund programs will continue until the earlier of sometime in 2025 or 2026, or when all of the funds allotted to the program have been exhausted. Many states plan to use all their funds well before this time.

So, if you think you might qualify for assistance under a particular program, it's best to apply as soon as possible.

Avoid Homeowner Assistance Fund Scams

If you get an unsolicited offer by phone, in the U.S. mail, through email, or by text message offering mortgage relief or foreclosure rescue services, be wary. Scammers sometimes target homeowners who've been affected by COVID-19.

You don't have to pay a fee to apply to a Homeowner Assistance Fund program. If anyone asks you to pay a fee to get housing counseling or foreclosure prevention services from these kinds of programs, it's a scam.

How to Get More Information

Homeowners in all states are eligible to get free help applying to their state Homeowner Assistance Fund program from a HUD-approved housing counselor. To find a counselor near you, go to HUD's website or call 800-569-4287. You can also find a counselor by:

If you need information about how foreclosure works in your state or possible defenses to a foreclosure, consider talking to a foreclosure attorney.

Chart of Homeowner Assistance Fund Programs By State

To find out how the homeowner-relief program works in your state, review the chart below for a summary and check out your state's official Homeowner Assistance Fund website.

State Funding Allocated to the State Type of Available Assistance Maximum Amount of Assistance Per Household Structure of Program State's Official Homeowner Assistance Fund Website
Alabama $125 million Mortgage payment assistance
Loan modification assistance
Lien extinguishment
$50,000.00 A grant that you don't have to repay https://www.mortgageassistanceal.com
Alaska $50 million Reinstate a mortgage in forbearance, delinquency, or default (the program will provide up to 12 months of mortgage assistance)
Pay utilities, like electricity, natural gas, trash removal, water, and sewer, as well as other home-energy costs, like home heating fuel or oil, propane, firewood, and wood pellets (but phone, cable, and internet costs aren't eligible)
Pay property taxes, homeowners' insurance, homeowners' or condominium association fees, cooperative maintenance fees
Cover a portion of your continuing payments if your financial hardship due to COVID-19 is ongoing
See the state's official Homeowner Assistance Fund website See the state's official Homeowner Assistance Fund website https://www.alaskahousingrelief.org
Arizona $197 million Mortgage payments, including reinstatement
Utilities, including electric, gas, home energy, and water
Internet service, including broadband internet access service
Homeowners' insurance, flood insurance, and mortgage insurance
Homeowners association fees or liens, condominium association fees, or common charges
Other housing-related costs related to a period of forbearance, delinquency, or default
See the state's official Homeowner Assistance Fund website See the state's official Homeowner Assistance Fund website https://haf.azhousing.gov
Arkansas $54 million Mortgage delinquency
Utility and internet access services
Property taxes, hazard insurance premiums, flood or wind insurance premiums, ground rents, condominium fees, cooperative maintenance fees, planned unit development fees, homeowners' association fees, or utilities that the servicer advanced to protect lien position (if included within escrow)
$40,000.00 A grant you don't have to repay https://arkansashaf.com
California $1 billion Delinquent housing payments (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance, plus any escrow shortages) or reverse mortgage arrearages $80,000.00 A nonrecourse grant that you don't have to repay https://camortgagerelief.org
Colorado $178 million Three months of overdue housing payments or future mortgage payments, perhaps more in some circumstances No maximum amount listed A grant that you don't have to repay https://cdola.colorado.gov/emergency-mortgage-assistance
Connecticut $123 million Mortgage payments (overdue and ongoing)
Non-mortgage payments, like property taxes, homeowners' insurance, water and sewer liens, etc. (overdue and ongoing)
$30,000.00 A grant that you don't have to repay https://www.chfa.org/myhomect
Delaware $50 million Delinquent mortgage payments and a principal curtailment, rate reduction, modification, or another resolution to make future mortgage payments more affordable
Overdue homeowners' association fees, condominium association fees, property taxes, chattel loan payments, land lease payments, homeowners' insurance, and utilities (water and sewer only)
$40,000.00 A grant that you don't have to repay https://demortgagehelp.com
District of Columbia $50 million Mortgage payments
Property charges, like HOA fees, homeowners' insurance, and taxes
Utilities and internet
$120,000.00 A grant that you don't have to repay https://haf.dc.gov
Florida $676 million Mortgage payments (principal, interest, late fees, and charges for first mortgages and subordinate mortgages)
Escrow payments
Property taxes
Homeowners' insurance
Utilities (including electric, gas, home heating oil, water, sewer, and internet)
Flood insurance
Homeowners' association fees
$50,000.00 A grant that you don't have to repay http://www.floridajobs.org/community-planning-and-development/homeowner-assistance/homeowner-assistance-fund
Georgia $354 million Mortgage reinstatement plus three months of mortgage payments
Money to pay for a recast, loan modification, or another loss mitigation option, plus three months of mortgage payments
Overdue non-escrowed property taxes or homeowners' insurance, condominium or homeowners' association fees, and utility payments
$50,000.00 See the state's official Homeowner Assistance Fund website https://georgiamortgageassistance.ga.gov
Hawaii $50 million The total amount from the federal government was split up and allocated to the counties of Maui, Kauai, Hawaii, and the island of Oahu. Programs vary. $30,000.00 A grant that you don't have to repay https://www.hawaiiancouncil.org/oahuhome
http://hawaiicommunitylending.com/grants-loans
https://www.meoinc.org/programs-services/community-services/housing-assistance
Idaho $72 million Overdue mortgage payments, including reinstatement of a loan in forbearance, delinquency, or default
Property taxes
Homeowners' insurance premiums
Homeowners' association fees and condominium dues
Cooperative maintenance fees
Utilities (in some instances), like power, sewer, trash, gas, and water
$50,000.00 An interest-free loan that must be repaid when you sell or transfer the home's ownership. The loan will be forgiven if the net proceeds from a sale don't cover the assistance amount received. And the loan might be forgivable after 10 years. https://www.idahohousing.com/haf
Illinois $387 million Overdue mortgage payments
Mortgage reinstatement or other housing-related costs related to a COVID-related forbearance
Past-due property taxes
Delinquent homeowners' insurance and flood insurance
Overdue homeowners' association, condominium association, or co-op association fees
Delinquent rent for a mobile home lot
Up to three months of future payments, if needed
$30,000.00 A grant that you don't have to repay https://www.illinoishousinghelp.org/ilhaf
Indiana $168 million Mortgage payments (delinquent and future) and other escrowed home-related costs, like homeowners' association fees and property taxes $35,000.00 Assistance is structured as a five-year, forgivable loan (forgiven at the rate of 20% each year for five years) https://haf.877gethope.org
Iowa $50 million Mortgage payments
Property taxes
Homeowners' insurance (hazard, flood, and mortgage insurance)
Homeowners' association fees
Manufactured home/lot rent payments
Land contract payments if you're buying under a legally recorded contract
$25,000.00 A grant you don't have to repay https://www.iowafinance.com/ihaf
Kansas $56 million Mortgage reinstatement
Upcoming mortgage payments
Other property charges, such as past-due property taxes, homeowners' and flood insurance, homeowners' association fees, condominium owners' association fees, cooperative maintenance charges, and common charges
Overdue utility bills, including internet, broadband, electricity, gas, home energy, water, and wastewater costs
$35,000 for mortgage reinstatement and mortgage payment assistance, and up to $10,000 for property charges and utilities See the state's official Homeowner Assistance Fund website https://kshousingcorp.org/kansas-homeowner-assistance-fund
Kentucky $85 million Mortgage assistance for up to six months and mortgage reinstatement of overdue payments
Payment of overdue, non-escrowed, property tax bills, homeowners' insurance, insurance bills
Payment of homeowners' association/condominium dues and liens
Payment of overdue utility (electric, gas/heat, water/sewer) bills
$35,000.00 A grant you don't have to repay https://teamkyhaf.ky.gov
Louisiana $146.7 million Mortgage reinstatement or other housing-related costs from a period of forbearance, delinquency, or default
Mortgage payments
Homeowners' insurance, homeowners' association fees, flood insurance, and mortgage insurance, if escrowed
$25,000.00 A grant, which you don't have to repay https://haf.lacovidhousing.com
Maine $50 million Past-due mortgage payments
Mortgage reinstatement or other housing-related costs related to a period of forbearance, delinquency, or default
Overdue homeowners' insurance, flood insurance, and mortgage insurance
Delinquent property taxes to prevent tax foreclosures
Overdue utility bills, such as electric, gas, sewage, and water bills
Past-due amounts for internet, including broadband internet access service
Delinquent homeowners' association or condominium owners' association fees
Overdue manufactured home loan debt (chattel loan or retail installment contracts)
$25,000.00 A grant, which you don't have to repay https://haf.mainehousing.org
Maryland $248 million Overdue and future mortgage payments and other housing-related costs Loan of up to $30,000 or a grant up to $10,000 A loan or grant that you don't have to repay https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Residents/Pages/HomeownerAssistanceFund.aspx
Massachusetts $180 million Mortgage loan principal and interest
Homeowners' association (or condominium owners' association) fees
Property taxes
Homeowners' insurance
Past-due mobile home loan payments and eligible utilities
See the state's official Homeowner Assistance Fund website A grant, which you don't have to repay https://massmortgagehelp.org
Michigan $242 million Overdue mortgage payments and other housing expenses, like property tax and insurance escrow shortages
Delinquent land contract payments, mobile home consumer loan payments, or mobile home park lot payments
Past-due non-escrowed property taxes
Overdue condominium or homeowners' association fees
Delinquent homeowner's insurance
Overdue bills for utilities, gas, electric, water, sewer
Delinquent internet broadband services
$25,000.00 A grant you don't have to repay https://mihaf.michigan.gov/p/home
Minnesota $128 million Past-due:
mortgage payments
contract for deed payments
manufactured or mobile home loan payments
property taxes
homeowners' insurance
mortgage insurance
ground rent/lease and tribal trust land lease payments
manufactured or mobile home lot rent, and
homeowners' or condo association fees, and cooperative fees or other common charges
$35,000.00 A grant you don't have to repay https://homehelpmn.org
Mississippi $72 million A reinstatement option, which includes up to three months of mortgage payment assistance
The program can also help with a second mortgage lien
And you might qualify for financial help to eliminate or reduce past-due payments associated with your mortgage, like delinquent property taxes
$50,000.00 A nonrecourse grant that you don't have to repay https://www.mshomesaver.com
Missouri $138 million First mortgage payments (principal and interest), escrow shortages or deficiencies, and any interest-bearing unpaid principal balance and any existing non-interest-bearing forbearance balance
Subordinate mortgage payments (principal and interest) and a principal reduction or payoff of a non-profit/government bond second lien
Manufactured or mobile home loan payments (principal and interest)
$50,000.00 A grant that you don't have to repay https://www.safhrforhomeowners.com
Montana $50 million Mortgage reinstatement costs
Utilities
Homeowners' insurance, flood insurance, and mortgage insurance
Homeowners' association fees or liens, condominium owners' association fees, or common charges
Delinquent property taxes
Other housing-related expenses
$25,000 (though the amount varies based on the type of assistance received) Some assistance is in the form of a 0% interest loan
Other kinds of assistance are in the form of a grant that you don't have to repay
https://arpa.mt.gov/Housing
Nebraska $50 million Mortgage reinstatement
Upcoming mortgage payments
Property costs, like property taxes, insurance, HOA fees and liens, utility liens
$30,000.00 A grant you don't have to repay https://nebraskahaf.com
Nevada $120 million Unemployment Mortgage Assistance (UMA) program
Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program (MRAP)
UMA: The program provides up to $3,000 per month for up to 12 months ($54,000 total)

MRAP: Qualifying homeowners can get up to $35,000 per household
See the state's official Homeowner Assistance Fund website https://nahac.org
New Hampshire $50 million Mortgage loan reinstatement (up to $20,000)
Other property charges, like overdue property taxes, homeowners' insurance, homeowners association or condominium fees, co-op maintenance, and lot rents (up to $20,000)
Utility costs (electricity, gas, and heating fuel) and internet payments (up to $3,000)
$20,000.00 If under $5,000, a nonrecourse grant that you don't have to repay
Assistance equal to or more than $5,000 is structured as a two-year, non-interest bearing, non-amortizing, forgivable loan
https://homehelpnh.org/homeowners
New Jersey $325 million Reinstate a delinquent mortgage loan (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance), including payments that were missed because of a forbearance plan
Mortgage payments of principal, interest, taxes, and insurance going forward (you can get a one-time payment to cover arrearages and up to four months of future mortgage-payment assistance)
Overdue property taxes, municipal liens, or utility liens
$35,000.00 A subordinate lien recorded against the home that's forgivable after three years. You only have to repay the assistance if you sell your home or receive cash back from a refinancing within three years https://njerma.com
New Mexico $55 million Mortgage reinstatement, principal reduction, lien extinguishment
Monthly mortgage payments if you're receiving unemployment benefits
Property taxes, homeowners' insurance, reverse mortgage escrow shortages, and taxes and insurance that are due up to 90 days after you apply
$20,000.00 A grant that you don't have to repay https://nmhomefund.org/homeowners
New York $539 million Missed housing payments, to reduce mortgage debt to make monthly mortgage payments more affordable, and for unemployed homeowners, assistance with up to six months of future housing payments $50,000.00 Five-year, non-interest, non-amortizing forgivable loan. If the homeowner remains in the home for five years, the loan will be fully forgiven https://www.nyhomeownerfund.org
North Carolina $273 million Mortgage payments
Mortgage reinstatement
Property-related costs, like insurance, taxes, HOA fees
$40,000.00 A grant that you don't have to repay https://nchaf.gov
North Dakota $50 million Housing Reinstatement Program (HRP)
Housing Payment Assistance Program (HPAP)
Home Repair Program (HAFHR)
$40,000 (HRP)
$12,000 (HPAP)
$30,000 (HAFHR)
(Subject to program cap)
A grant that you don't have to repay https://www.applyforhelp.nd.gov/nd-help-homeowners
Ohio $280 million Past-due mortgage payments and up to six months of upcoming mortgage payments
Utility bills, property taxes, homeowners' association fees, and other housing costs, which aren't included in your mortgage payment
$25,000 (mortgage)
$10,000 (other housing costs)
See the state's official Homeowner Assistance Fund website https://savethedream.ohiohome.org
Oklahoma $74 million Reinstatement of a delinquent mortgage
Delinquent real estate taxes
Restored or canceled homeowner's insurance
Delinquent homeowners' association dues
$20,000.00 A grant that you don't have to repay https://www.ohfa.org/haf
Oregon $90 million Past-due housing payments, like mortgage payments, property taxes, homeowners' insurance, HOA fees, etc.
Ongoing housing-related payments
$60,000.00 Assistance is in the form of a five-year, 0%-interest, forgivable loan https://oregonhomeownerassistance.org/program
Pennsylvania $350 million Mortgage reinstatement
Future mortgage payments
Past-due charges that put property ownership at risk
Delinquent utility bills
$30,000.00 A grant that you don't have to repay https://pahaf.org
Rhode Island $50 million Overdue mortgage payments
Upcoming monthly mortgage payments
Principal reduction
Property taxes, homeowners' association fees, and condominium association fees
Utilities, flood insurance or mortgage insurance, and other housing-related expenses if you get assistance for one of the expenses listed above
$50,000.00 A grant that you don't have to repay https://www.rihousing.com/hafri
South Carolina $145 million Mortgage payments
Mortgage reinstatement
Delinquent property taxes, homeowners' association fees, and utilities
Government or nonprofit down payment assistance loans
See the state's official Homeowner Assistance Fund website See the state's official Homeowner Assistance Fund website https://www.schousing.com/Home/SC-Homeowner-Rescue
South Dakota $50 million Overdue mortgage bills (principal and interest), property taxes, homeowners' insurance, late fees (up to $25,000)
Utility costs and utility arrears, such as water, sewer, electricity, propane/natural gas, and trash costs ($300 per month, a maximum of $5,000 total)
$25,000.00 Assistance for mortgage payments and other related costs is a 0% interest loan, with no payments due until you sell, refinance, transfer title, or move out
Utility assistance is a grant, which you don't have to repay
https://www.sdhda.org/social-programs/cares-act-housing-assistance-program/cares-act-housing-assistance-program-1
Tennessee $168 million Reinstatement
Reinstatement plus future payments
Reinstatement plus loss mitigation
$40,000.00 A grant that you don't have to repay https://thda.org/help-for-homeowners/haf
Texas $842 million Overdue mortgage payments, including money to put toward getting a loan modification if you can't afford your mortgage payments even after you get caught up
Other past-due property expenses, like property taxes, homeowners' insurance, and homeowners' association or condo association fees
$40,000 (mortgage payments)
$25,000 (other property-related expenses)
A grant that you don't have to repay https://www.texashomeownerassistance.com
Utah $53 million Mortgage payments and pay other home-related costs, like property taxes, homeowners' insurance, utilities, etc. $25,000.00 A grant that you don't have to repay https://homeownersassistance.utah.gov
Vermont Mortgage payments, including reinstatement (enough to cover property tax and insurance escrow amounts, servicer advances, and fees)
Homeowner's association fees or liens, condominium association fees, or other common charges
Property taxes, and
utilities, including electric, gas, fuel oil, and water
$30,000.00 A grant that you don't have to repay https://vermonthap.vhfa.org
Virginia $258 million Mortgage payments for first and subordinate mortgages, including down payment assistance loans provided by nonprofit or government entities
Mortgage reinstatement or other housing-related costs related to a period of forbearance, delinquency, or default
Homeowners' insurance, flood insurance, and mortgage insurance
Homeowners' association fees or liens, condominium owners' association fees, special assessments, or common charges
delinquent property taxes to prevent tax foreclosures
Personal property taxes and, in some cases, lot rental fees on unaffixed mobile homes. (You can't get money for lot rent under this program, but you might be eligible under the Virginia Rent Relief Program.)
Assistance is limited to a maximum of the lesser of 20 months of eligible housing expenses or $30,000 per household. If you're getting other federal, state, or local housing assistance for the same expenses, you can't get assistance from this program. A grant that you don't have to repay https://www.virginiamortgagerelief.com
Washington $173 million Mortgage payments, reduce mortgage principal, get a mortgage interest rate reduction
Other housing-related costs, like homeowners' insurance, flood insurance, or mortgage insurance, delinquent property taxes, homeowners' association fees or liens, condominium association fees, or common charges, and similar costs payable under a unit occupancy agreement by a resident member/shareholder in a cooperative housing development, and down payment assistance loans that a nonprofit or government entity provided
$60,000.00 A grant that you don't have to repay https://washingtonhaf.org
West Virginia See the state's official Homeowner Assistance Fund website Delinquent mortgage payments, including escrow items (up to $15,000)
Overdue utility bills (up to $2,500)
Past-due property taxes, homeowners' insurance premiums, flood or wind insurance premiums, ground rents, condominium fees, cooperative maintenance fees, planned unit development fees, and homeowners' association fees not included in your monthly mortgage payment (up to $5,000)
Overdue internet bills ($300)
Some kinds of downpayment loans, like down payment assistance loans that a government entity or nonprofit provided. ($500)
$15,000.00 A grant that you don't have to repay https://www.wvhdf.com/west-virginia-homeowners-rescue
Wisconsin $92 million Mortgage payments (including reinstatement costs), insurance, property taxes, utilities and home energy costs, homeowners' association and condominium fees, lot fees, and more $40,000.00 Assistance below $10,000 is structured as a grant that you don't have to repay
Amounts over $10,000 are structured as a one-year, non-interest bearing, non-amortizing forgivable loan
https://doa.wi.gov/Pages/LocalGovtsGrants/Homeowner-Assistance.aspx
Wyoming $50 million Mortgage reinstatement or other delinquent housing-related costs related to a period of forbearance, delinquency, or default
Overdue property taxes, homeowners' insurance, and homeowners' association dues
Past-due utility payments, including electricity, energy costs (fuel, oil, and propane), water, and sewer, but not internet
$17,000.00 A grant that you don't have to repay https://dfs.wyo.gov/assistance-programs/home-utilities-energy-assistance/homeowner-assistance
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