$173M in Mortgage Relief Available to Washington Homeowners

Eligible homeowners in Washington can get up to $60,000 to make mortgage payments and pay other housing-related expenses.

By , Attorney · University of Denver Sturm College of Law

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 around $10 billion to the states to help households that are behind on their mortgages and other housing expenses due to COVID-19.

Eligible homeowners in Washington who've experienced a financial hardship because of COVID-19 can get a portion of the approximately $173 million allocated to the state—up to $60,000 per household—by applying to the state's Homeowner Assistance Fund program. This program uses federal money to help homeowners pay mortgage payments and other housing costs.

What Costs Are Covered By the Washington Homeowner Assistance Fund Program?

You can use money from the Washington Homeowner Assistance Fund (Washington HAF) program to:

  • reinstate a mortgage or pay other housing-related costs related to a period of forbearance, delinquency, or default
  • reduce your mortgage principal, including the principal for a second mortgage that a nonprofit or government entity provided
  • get a mortgage interest rate reduction, or
  • preserve your use of a partial claim. (A "partial claim" is a loan to get caught up on payments.)

Other Covered Housing Expenses

If you qualify for at least one of the types of financial assistance described above, you can also get financial assistance to pay:

  • 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.

Also, some of Washington's Homeowner Assistance funds will pay for default housing counseling services and related services. So, regardless of income level, all homeowners in Washington can get free assistance working with their loan servicers.

In addition, some funds will go to Civil Legal Aid to provide no-cost legal assistance to income-qualified homeowners.

Eligibility Requirements for the Washington Homeowner Assistance Fund Program

To qualify for relief from this program, you must have suffered a financial hardship (a material reduction in income or an increase in living expenses) after January 21, 2020, because of COVID-19.

You also have to meet these guidelines.

  • The property must be owner-occupied and located in Washington.
  • Your household income must be 100% or less of the area median income for your county.
  • The property must be your primary residence. Second homes, investment properties, and vacant properties don't qualify.
  • One- to four-unit dwellings (if you live in one unit as a primary residence), including manufactured or mobile homes on rented spaces, are eligible.

How the Washington Homeowner Assistance Fund Program Works

Assistance is in the form of a grant that you don't have to repay. Payments from the program go directly to the loan servicer or other approved entity, not to homeowners.

This program will be available until funds run out or through June 30, 2024.

How to Apply to Washington's Homeowner Assistance Fund Program

Go to https://washingtonhaf.org to request a call back to find out if you're eligible. As part of the process, you might have to provide certain documents with your application, like mortgage statements, proof of income (such as pay stubs or tax returns), and a government-issued ID (like a driver's license). You may start gathering these documents while you're waiting for the return call.

Or you can call 877‐894‐4663.

Avoid Homeowner Assistance Fund Scams

Be wary if you get an unsolicited offer by phone, mail, email, or text message offering mortgage relief or foreclosure rescue services. Scammers sometimes target homeowners who've been affected by COVID-19.

Homeowner Assistance Fund programs are free. If anyone asks you to pay a fee to get housing counseling or to receive foreclosure prevention services from this program, it's a scam.

You can report scams on the Washington HAF website.

Learn More About the Washington Homeowner Assistance Fund Program

Call Washington's homeownership hotline at 877‐894‐4663 to learn more about the program and start working with a housing counselor on your specific situation.

Also, you can get more information about the program by reading Washington's Homeowner Assistance Fund plan.