HOMEOWNER ASSISTANCE FUND

Homeowner Assistance Fund

Through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Hawaii will receive $50 million in Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) funding for families who are behind on their mortgages or already in foreclosure as a result of the pandemic. Funds can be used to provide homeowners with assistance to cover mortgage payments, property taxes, utility payments, homeowner association fees, or other resources to help them stay in their homes. An initial payment, consisting of 10% of the total funding amount, was received and will be used for overall program planning and the implementation of pilot programs.

The Hawaii State Department of Budget and Finance (B & F) will be the primary recipient of the funds from U.S. Department of the Treasury. The current plan is for the counties to implement the program. The counties will in turn contract with nonprofit organizations to administer the program and make it accessible to eligible homeowners. This same structure is currently in place to administer the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program that was established and funded under Section 501 of division N of the Consolidated Appropriations Act which was enacted in December 2020.

Program Status

HHFDC worked with the counties, UHERO, lenders, and financial counseling agencies to draft a plan that must be approved by U.S. Treasury before Hawaii can receive the full HAF funding. It included a needs assessment and identified the types of mortgage assistance to be provided. The draft plan was shared with the public at the June 10, 2021 HHFDC board meeting.

On Aug. 5, 2021, Treasury notified the states and other HAF participants that it had opened an electronic portal for them to submit their completed HAF plans by Aug. 20. In lieu of this, a state or other participant could also notify Treasury by Aug. 20 the date by which their plans will be submitted.

On Aug. 18, 2021, the State of Hawaii’s Homeowner Assistance Fund plan was submitted to the Department of the Treasury. An update of the plan can be found here.

The plan is being reviewed by Treasury. If approved by Treasury, the state of Hawaii will work with the counties to utilize these funds to implement the HAF program.

Hawaii County and Kauai County will each be launching pilot programs before the end of the year.

Eligibility

The program is intended to serve homeowners who have fallen behind or who are at risk of falling behind on their mortgage, property tax, or utility payments due to the coronavirus pandemic. Although specific eligibility criteria will be determined by the state, at least 60 percent of the funds must go to households at or below 100 percent of area median income. You can find area median income for your community here.

Any amount not made available to homeowners that meet this income-targeting requirement must be prioritized for assistance to socially disadvantaged individuals, with funds remaining after such prioritization being made available for other eligible homeowners. Socially disadvantaged individuals are those who, for circumstances beyond their control, have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias because of their identity as a member of a group without regard to their individual qualities.

Additional sources of information for homeowners

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development COVID-19 Resources for Homeowners page

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Help for Homeowners page

 

HUD has also recommended several national counseling agencies that may be able provide advice or help to homeowners. 

BALANCE: 

Informational Contact: Linda Davis-Demas, ldavis-demas@balancepro.org

Homeowner Contact: To speak with a counselor, call toll-free 1-888-456-2227. 

Monday–Thursday 7:30 AM–6 PM, Friday 7:30 AM–5 PM, Saturday 9 AM–2 PM (Pacific  Time) 

Email: housingteam@balancepro.org 

We are available via phone, email or chat to schedule their appointment. 

National Foundation for Debt Management 

Informational Contact: Russell Graves, Executive Director 

Consumer Credit and Budget Counseling, D/B/A National Foundation for Debt Management Ph:  727-755-8550, 609-390-9652 or 888-738-8233 x-3110 

Homeowner Contact: 

800-344-5153

9:00am to 5:30pm Eastern (But can be changed to meet the State’s need.) We can establish a branch in most states if necessary 

Money Management International: 

Informational Contact: Jackie Boies | Sr. Director, Housing & Bankruptcy Services 12603 Southwest Freeway | Suite 450 

Stafford, TX 77477 

D: 800.850.2227 ext. 5522 | M: 337-485-6900 

Contact for clients: 866-889-9347 

Housing counseling nationwide by phone, 24/7 availability, www.moneymangement.org 

Navicore Solutions: 

Informational contact for the HAF administrators: Richard Verrillo Phone: 732-410-2676 

Email: rverrillo@navicoresolutions.org 

Contact information for homeowners to use: 

Phone: 866-472-4557 

Email: housing@navicoresolutions.org