Update: As of summer 2023, the Nebraska Homeowner Assistance Fund is closed. But you can join the waitlist.
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 expenses due to COVID-19.
Eligible homeowners in Nebraska who've experienced a financial hardship because of the pandemic can get a piece of the $50 million allocated to the state—up to $30,000 per household—from the Nebraska Homeowner Assistance Fund (NHAF) program. This program uses federal money to help homeowners in Nebraska make mortgage payments and pay other home-related costs like delinquent property taxes, homeowners' association fees, and insurance.
Available Financial Help for Nebraska Homeowners
The NHAF program offers three kinds of assistance to eligible homeowners:
Mortgage payments. Homeowners who can't make their mortgage payments can get money to pay upcoming monthly payments for one month at a time, up to six months.
Property-costs assistance. Homeowners can get money to pay past-due property taxes, homeowners' insurance premiums, mortgage insurance premiums, flood insurance premiums, homeowners' association fees or liens, condominium association fees, utility liens, or common charges that threaten sustained ownership of the property.
Eligibility Requirements for the NHAF Program
To qualify for relief from this program, you must have suffered a financial hardship—that is, a material reduction in income or an increase in living expenses—after January 21, 2020, because of the coronavirus pandemic. You must also currently own and occupy the property as your primary residence. And your annual household income must be less than specific limits, equal to or less than 100% of the area median income for your county.
In addition, you have to meet some other guidelines:
You (the homeowner), borrower, or spouse with the pandemic-related financial hardship must be living in the home at the time of application and intend to continue living there as a primary residence.
You, if you're not the person with the hardship, must reside in the home at the time of the application and intend to continue living there as your primary residence.
The home must be in Nebraska.
The home must be your primary residence and have been purchased, owned, or inherited before the hardship.
The home must be in the name of a person—not a trust, business, or LLC.
Assistance is structured as a grant that you don't have to repay. NHAF payments go directly to the loan servicer or other approved entity, not to homeowners.
How to Apply for the NHAF Program
To apply for help from this program, go to the NHAF website and take the pre-screening quiz. If you're potentially eligible, you can create an account and complete the online application.
You'll have to provide some documentation with your application, like mortgage statements, proof of income (such as pay stubs and tax returns), and a government-issued ID (like a driver's license). Click here for a complete list of documents you'll need to provide.
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. The NHAF 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.