$350M Available to Pennsylvania Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

Learn about Pennsylvania’s COVID mortgage-relief program. You might be eligible for up to $30,000.

By , Attorney · University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Update: As of February 1, 2023, PAHAF (the program described in the article below) temporarily paused accepting new applications. You can register for email updates about the program on the PAHAF website.

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

Eligible homeowners in Pennsylvania who've experienced a financial hardship because of COVID-19 can get a portion of the $350 million allocated to the state (up to $50,000 per household) by applying to the Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund (PAHAF) program. This program uses federal money to help Pennsylvania homeowners make mortgage payments and pay other housing-related expenses to avoid foreclosure.

Help for Pennsylvania Homeowners Under the PAHAF Program

You can apply to the PAHAF program to get money to pay the following home-related expenses.

  • mortgage reinstatement
  • future mortgage payments
  • past-due charges that put property ownership at risk, such as overdue property taxes and homeowners' association fees, and
  • delinquent utilities.

Eligibility Requirements for the PAHAF Program

To qualify for relief from this program, you must have suffered a material reduction in income or an increase in living expenses after January 21, 2020, because COVID-19. A hardship that began before January 21, 2020, and continued after that date also qualifies.

You must also meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You must own the Pennsylvania home for which you're seeking assistance and live in it as your primary residence.
  • Your total annual household income must be equal to or less than 150% of the area median income, with homeowners who have the lowest household incomes, as well as those who are socially disadvantaged, receiving priority for assistance.
  • Your first mortgage must be a conforming loan that meets the federal limits for the year in which you took out the loan. (Conforming loans are eligible for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to purchase from lenders.)

Also, you can't get the same assistance for a mortgage reinstatement or future payments, property charges, or utility payments from another federal, state, local, nonprofit, or tribal source.

How the Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund Program Works

Assistance is structured as a grant that you don't have to repay. PAHAF assistance will be sent directly to mortgage servicers, utility providers, taxing authorities, or approved service providers.

How to Apply for the Pennsylvania COVID Relief Program

Go to https://pahaf.org to apply. You'll have to provide some documentation with your application, like mortgage statements, income documentation (such as pay stubs or tax returns), and a government-issued ID (like a driver's license).

How Long Will Pennsylvania's COVID Relief Program Last?

The PAHAF program will continue until the earlier of September 30, 2026, or when all of the funds allotted to the program have been exhausted. If you think you might qualify, 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 are having trouble making their mortgage payments.

The PAHAF program is free. If anyone asks you to pay a fee to get housing counseling or foreclosure prevention services from this program, it's a scam. If you experience fraud associated with this program, be sure to report it.

Learn More

To learn more, see the program's Frequently Asked Questions section. If you need help with the application process, contact the PAHAF program at 888-987-2423.

You may also get help from a HUD-approved housing counselor at no cost. To find a counselor near you, go to the PAHAF website or HUD's website or call 800-569-4287.