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 Idaho who've experienced a financial hardship because of the pandemic can get a portion of the approximately $72 million allocated to the state—up to $50,000 per household—by applying to Idaho's Homeowner Assistance Fund program. This program uses federal money to help homeowners pay past-due mortgage payments and other housing-related costs.
What Is Covered By Idaho's Homeowner Assistance Fund Program?
You can use money from the Idaho Homeowner Assistance Fund program to pay:
utilities (in some instances), like power, sewer, trash, gas, and water.
If you have a reverse mortgage, you might qualify for assistance to pay delinquent property taxes, insurance, or utilities.
Eligibility Requirements for the Idaho 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. You also have to meet these guidelines.
The property must be owner-occupied and located in Idaho.
Eligible property types include: single-family attached and detached homes, manufactured homes permanently attached to real property and taxed as real estate, one- to four-unit properties (if you, the homeowner, live in one of the units as a primary residence), manufactured homes permanently attached to real property on leasehold land subject to a mortgage lien and insured by a title policy, and single-family (attached or detached) properties on leasehold land subject to a mortgage lien and insured by a title policy.
Your mortgage loan must be in forbearance, or you have to be behind on your home-related payments.
You must have owned and lived in your home on or before January 1, 2020.
Your household income must be at or below the program's income eligibility threshold.
How the Idaho Homeowner Assistance Fund Program Works
Assistance is in the form of an interest-free loan. The loan must be repaid when you sell or transfer the home's ownership. The loan will be forgiven if the net proceeds from a sale don't cover the assistance amount received. And the loan might be forgivable after 10 years.
Payments from the program go directly to the loan servicer or other approved entity, not to homeowners.
How to Apply to Idaho's Homeowner Assistance Fund Program
You'll have to provide some documentation 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). So, in the meantime, you can start gathering these items and putting them in an electronic format, such as a pdf.
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 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 program, it's a scam.
Learn More About Idaho's Homeowner Assistance Fund Program