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

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 are behind on their mortgages and other housing-related expenses due to COVID-19.

The 50 states and the District of Columbia are setting up various programs with their allocated funding to distribute the money and assist distressed homeowners. This process will take some time, with most programs likely to get rolling in late 2021 and early 2022. While the programs vary considerably in the types of help offered and amounts provided, this article gives an overview of how they generally work, with a chart below giving specifics for each state.

How Homeowner Assistance Fund Programs Generally Work

Again, programs vary from state to state but generally offer assistance with:

  • paying off delinquent mortgage payments, including principal and interest, so 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, and
  • paying overdue homeowners' association or condominium owners' association fees or liens, special assessments, or 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 that 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. But 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 the coronavirus crisis. 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 single unit 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, LP, or LLC, can't own the home.
  • You aren't able to work out an alternative through your mortgage servicer (see "Forbearances and Other Mortgage Relief During the Coronavirus National Emergency" below).

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 September 30, 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 date. 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 are increasingly targeting 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.

Getting Help

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.

Homeowner Assistance Fund Programs By State

To find out how the homeowner-relief program works in your state, check the chart below for a summary and follow the link to get more details.

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 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 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 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 A grant that you don't have to repay https://www.chfa.org/myhomect
Delaware https://decovidhousinghelp.com/covid-19-homeowner-assistance
District of Columbia $50 million

Mortgage payments

Property charges, like HOA fees, homeowners' insurance, and taxes

Utilities and internet

$120,000 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 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 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 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 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 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

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 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 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 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 A grant, which you don't have to repay https://www.maine.gov/pfr/consumercredit/homeowner_assistance_fund.html
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 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 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 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 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 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

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 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 A grant that you don't have to repay https://nmhomeownerassistancefund.org
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 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 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 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 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 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 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

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 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 A grant that you don't have to repay https://jobs.utah.gov/covid19/homeowner.html
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 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 A grant that you don't have to repay https://www.wshfc.org/buyers/HAF.htm
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 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

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 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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