HOMEOWNER ASSISTANCE FUND

NEW INFORMATION FOR OAHU HOMEOWNERS!!!

January 18, 2022

For those who live on Oahu and are experiencing extreme financial difficulty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oʻahu Homeowner Assistance Fund program web site is now “live.” Applications will start being accepted through the electronic portal at 10 a.m. Friday, January 21, 2022, at www.hawaiiancouncil.org/oahuhome.

Some basic information about the Oahu HAF program is below but homeowners are urged to visit

 for more details.

(If you live on another Hawaiian island, scroll down this page to see the information about your county.)

 

Oʻahu Homeowner Assistance Fund program web site Q&A

  • How does this housing assistance program work?

 The Oʻahu Homeowner Assistance Fund (OHAF) program will provide financial assistance, mortgage counseling and other resources to qualified Oʻahu homeowners affected negatively by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The nonprofit Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) has been contracted by the state Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC) to administer the program for Oʻahu homeowners.

Based on their eligibility, recipients may be able to receive up to $30,000 in funding through the program to help cover mortgages, property taxes, utility payments, homeowner association fees or other expenses.

  • How is this program funded?

Through funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the federal government is providing Hawaiʻi with $50 million for Homeowner Assistance Fund program monies to assist homeowners across the islands.

  • How many months of mortgage payments can people sign up for? How many months for back mortgage payments and for mortgage in advance?

For those who qualify, the program will cover mortgages and related housing expenses (for example: Utilities, HOA fees, Homeowners Insurance, Housing Counseling, Legal Counseling) going back to January 21, 2020.  There is a cap of $30,000 total per eligible household.

  • Where can people sign up or have questions answered?

 Oʻahu homeowners interested in applying for, or learning more about, the Oahu HAF program should go to the CNHA website at www.hawaiiancouncil.org/oahuhome, email ohaf@hawaiiancouncil.org or call 808-596-8155 option 1.

  •  What are the program requirements for the applicants to qualify?

Priority will be for homeowners with incomes at or below 100% AMI or are considered socially disadvantaged and are behind on their mortgage.

Homeowners earning up to 150% area median income (AMI) may also be eligible for the program based on funding availability.

The applicant’s banker or loan servicer must also agree to participate in the financial assistance program.

  • What would you stress to applicants in making sure that they qualify and receive their payment in a timely manner?

Please respond promptly when CNHA reaches out to them on their application so CNHA can move ahead with the verification process to see if they qualify. It will also be beneficial to locate in advance the necessary paperwork requested by CNHA as part of the verification process. The program is being announced three days early to give applicants time to collect their documents and prepare to apply. Finally, they should make sure their  bank or loan servicer is signed up to participate in the OHAF program.

  •   The City has opened and closed their application portal for their respective rent relief program to handle the demand of applications. Will that also be done for this state mortgage aid program?

The state and CNHA will continually monitor the demand for the program to determine whether that takes place.

  • This program is meant to assist Oʻahu homeowners. What about homeowners on other islands?

The county governments for Hawaiʻi and Kauaʻi requested oversight for the distribution of homeowner assistance funds on their respective islands through nonprofits they have procured. Maui County already has a different homeowner assistance program underway using a separate funding source and is planning to add funds from the stateʻs allotment of the American Rescue Plan Act.

Homeowners in those counties should go to:

Hawaiʻi County: http://hawaiicommunitylending.com/grants-loans/

Kauaʻi County: http://hawaiicommunitylending.com/grants-loans/

Maui County: Housing Assistance – Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. (meoinc.org)

 

 

HOMEOWNER ASSISTANCE FUND

To help families who are behind on their mortgages or are already in foreclosure due to the pandemic, Hawaii is receiving $50 million in federal help through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to establish the Homeowner Assistance Fund program.

Funds can be used to provide homeowners with assistance to cover mortgages, property taxes, utility payments, homeowner association fees or other expenses they need to pay to stay in their homes.

An initial allocation consisting of 10% of the total funding amount was received and is being used for overall program planning and the implementation of a pilot project in Hawaii and Kauai counties. (See the link below.)

The Hawaii State Department of Budget and Finance (B&F) is the primary recipient of the funds from the U.S. Department of Treasury. On Dec. 2, 2021, Treasury notified the state that it had approved the state’s HAF plan.

To see Hawaii’s official HAF Plan, go here.

Five types of financial assistance are being offered: mortgage reinstatement; mortgage payment; mortgage default resolution; property charge default resolution; and utility payment assistance. For details on each, please go here.

The housing agencies for Hawaii, Maui and Kauai counties are implementing homeowner assistance programs in their regions. HHFDC is implementing the program for Oahu homeowners.

Nonprofit organizations are being contracted to administer the programs and make it accessible to eligible homeowners.

 

Program Status

HHFDC worked with the counties, UHERO, lenders and financial counseling agencies to draft a HAF program plan required by Treasury before the program could proceed. Treasury approved the program in early December.

The Oahu Homeowner Assistance Fund (Oahu HAF) program will be ready soon.

Hawaii and Kauai county elected to run pilot programs that were rolled into full programs that are being administered under contract by the nonprofit community development financial institution Hawaiʻi Community Lending under contract with Hawaii and Kauai counties. For more information, go to Grants & Loans – Hawai‘i Community Lending (hawaiicommunitylending.com).

 

Eligibility

At least 60% of the HAF funds are being expected to be provided to households at or below 100% area median income (AMI) 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. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sets AMI guidelines annually.

To see if you meet the AMI requirements to qualify for HAF funds, go to the 2021 Homeowner Assistance Fund income limits summary. (Under Select a state, choose Hawaii – HI. Then select the appropriate county.)

For more general eligibility criteria, please go 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.

Homeowners at or below 150% area median income (AMI) may also be eligible to receive HAF funding depending on availability.

 

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