HOMEOWNER ASSISTANCE FUND

Homeowners Assistance Fund

Through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Hawaii will receive at least $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.

The Hawaii State Department of Budget and Finance (B & F) will be the primary recipient of the funds from U.S. 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 is currently working with the counties, UHERO, lenders, and financial counseling agencies on drafting a plan that must be approved by U.S. Treasury before Hawaii can receive the full HAF funding. The draft plan includes a needs assessment and identifies the types of mortgage assistance to be provided. The draft plan was shared with the public at the June 10, 2021 HHFDC board meeting. At this stage, the plan is a continual work in progress as data to better assess needs becomes available and is analyzed. The draft distributed to the board is available here.

On June 29, 2021, the U.S. Treasury extended the deadline for grantees to submit their HAF Plans to July 31, 2021. Treasury is expected to release updated guidance and the HAF plan templates soon. After Treasury releases its updated guidance, it will open an on-line portal for grantees to submit their HAF plans. The goal is to submit a HAF plan using the required template once it is made available and Treasury opens up their portal.

If approved by the U.S. Department of Treasury, the state of Hawaii will work with the counties to utilize these funds to implement the Homeowner Assistance Fund or HAF program.

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