$676M in Mortgage Relief Available to Homeowners in Florida

You might be eligible to get up to $50,000 from the state of Florida to pay your mortgage and other housing expenses.

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 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 Florida who've experienced a financial hardship because of the pandemic can get a piece of the approximately $676 million allocated to the state—up to $50,000 per household—from Florida's Homeowner Assistance Fund program. This program uses federal money to help homeowners make mortgage payments and pay other home-related costs.

What Housing Costs Does Florida's Program Cover?

Again, Florida's Homeowner Assistance Fund program offers up to $50,000 per household. This money can be used to cover 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, and homeowners' association fees.

Eligibility Requirements for Florida's 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 the coronavirus pandemic. A hardship that began before January 21, 2020, but continued after that date qualifies. In addition, you have to meet these qualifications:

  • The property must be in Florida.
  • Your household income must be at or below a particular threshold. (You must have a household income less than or equal to 150% of the area median income or 100% of the median income in the United States, whichever is greater.) Also, the program prioritizes socially disadvantaged individuals.
  • You must own and occupy the property as your primary residence.

Eligible types of properties include:

  • single-family attached and detached homes
  • condos
  • manufactured homes that are permanently affixed to real property and taxed as real estate
  • mobile homes that aren't permanently affixed to real property, and
  • one- to four-unit properties if you (the homeowner) live in one of the units as a primary residence.

Second homes, investment properties, and vacant properties don't qualify.

How Florida's Homeowner Assistance Fund Program Works

Assistance is structured as a nonrecourse grant that you don't have to repay. Payments go directly to the loan servicer or other approved entity, not to homeowners.

How to Apply for Assistance From Florida's Homeowner Assistance Fund Program

Go here to complete your registration and apply. You'll probably have to provide supporting documentation with your application, like mortgage statements or statements for your other housing-related costs, proof of income (such as pay stubs and tax returns), and an attestation describing the nature of your financial hardship.

Avoid Homeowner Assistance Fund Scams

Be wary if you get an unsolicited offer by phone, in the U.S. mail, email, or text message offering mortgage relief or foreclosure rescue services. Scammers are increasingly targeting 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 kind of program, it's a scam.

Learn More About Florida's Homeowner Assistance Fund Program

If you have questions or need help with your application, call 833-987-8997 or email HomeownerAssistanceFund@DEO.MyFlorida.com. You may also get help from a HUD-approved housing counselor who will assist you at no cost. To find a counselor near you, go to HUD's website or call 800-569-4287.

Effective date: March 2, 2022