The Housing Finance Agency Innovation Fund for the Hardest Hit Housing Markets, also known as the Hardest Hit Fund, is part of the government’s Making Home Affordable initiative. It is a federally funded foreclosure prevention program that may be able to help you with your mortgage difficulties if you live in one of the designated states.
Read on to learn more about the Hardest Hit Fund, whether you are eligible for help under the program, and what types of assistance are available if you are in danger of foreclosure. (To learn about other programs that are part of the Making Home Affordable initiative, visit our Government Foreclosure Prevention Programs topic area.)
In February 2010, the U.S. Department of the Treasury created the Hardest Hit Fund to provide targeted aid to homeowners in those states most affected by the housing market crash. As part of this program, $7.6 billion in aid was allocated to 18 states, plus the District of Columbia. These states (and D.C.) experienced the most extreme home price declines (more than 20%), as well as high unemployment rates, as a result of the economic crisis. As of late 2015, Congress has committed to provide another $2 billion to the federal Hardest Hit Fund.
Each state that received funds developed it’s own program, which is administered by that state’s housing finance agency, to distribute the funds and assist distressed homeowners in avoiding foreclosure.
Hardest Hit Fund states are:
The assistance programs vary from state to state, but may include:
States have until the end of 2020 to make use of the funds allocated under the Hardest Hit Fund. If a state still has funds available after December 31, 2020, they must be returned to the U.S. Treasury.
While the Hardest Hit Fund is part of the Making Home Affordable Program, assistance through this program is not limited to those who are eligible for Making Home Affordable. Most of the Hardest Hit Fund programs are geared toward unemployed homeowners. Eligibility requirements differ from state to state, but generally the requirements are:
If you live in one of the designated states or Washington, D.C., contact your local housing finance agency's office to learn more about the specifics of the program in your state and how to apply. You can also obtain further information by going to www.treasury.gov/initiatives/financial-stability/TARP-Programs/housing/Pages/Program-Documents.aspx. At this website, you can find out how much money was allocated to your state, as well as find links to general information about your state program and how to submit an application for assistance.
If you have additional questions about the Hardest Hit Fund, or any other program under the Making Home Affordable initiative, you can call 1-888-995-HOPE (4673) or go to www.makinghomeaffordable.gov for more information.