ASSISTANCE FOR HOMEOWNERS

Homeowner Assistance Fund

Through the American Rescue Plan Act, 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.

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.

Qualified Expenses

HAF participants may use funding from the HAF only for the following types of qualified

expenses that are for the purpose of preventing homeowner mortgage delinquencies, homeowner mortgage defaults, homeowner mortgage foreclosures, homeowner loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacements of homeowners experiencing financial hardship:

  • Mortgage payment assistance.
  • Financial assistance to allow a homeowner to reinstate a mortgage or to pay other housing-related costs related to a period of forbearance, delinquency, or default.
  • Mortgage principal reduction, including with respect to a second mortgage provided by a nonprofit or government entity.
  • Facilitating mortgage interest rate reductions.
  • Payment assistance for:
    • homeowner’s utilities, including electric, gas, home energy, and water
    • homeowner’s internet service, including broadband internet access service
    • homeowner’s insurance, flood insurance, and mortgage insurance
    • homeowner’s association fees or liens, HOA fees, or common charges
    • down payment assistance loans provided by nonprofit or government entities.

How to Apply

The state needs to make a determination about which jurisdiction will be administering this program.  Information on how to apply will become available following the U.S. Treasury’s approval of a HAF Plan in June 2021.