Governor Andrew M. Hochul Establishes the Nation’s First $539 Million Homeowner Assistance Fund to Assist Eligible New Yorkers Facing Foreclosure or Displacement

Governor Andrew M. Hochul Establishes the Nation’s First $539 Million Homeowner Assistance Fund to Assist Eligible New Yorkers Facing Foreclosure or Displacement

Governor Kathy Hochul announced today that New York State is the first state in the country to receive approval from the United States Department of the Treasury to launch its Homeowner Assistance Fund, a programme that will provide up to $539 million in assistance to eligible homeowners to avoid mortgage delinquency, default, foreclosure, and displacement. Beginning Monday, January 3, 2022, applications will be accepted.

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“Many New Yorkers are still suffering from the pandemic, and just as we did for renters, our state is now leading the way in providing critical economic support to vulnerable homeowners around the state,” Governor Hochul stated. “We recognise that rural communities, communities of colour, and immigrant communities have borne a disproportionate share of the economic burden associated with the epidemic, and this programme demonstrates our commitment to putting the needs of New Yorkers in need at the centre of our efforts. We would want to express our gratitude to the Biden Administration and our entire congressional delegation for securing this important lifeline, and New York stands ready to assist homeowners in need at every step of the road.”

Brian Benjamin, Lieutenant Governor, stated, “Far too many New Yorkers have been burdened financially by the COVID-19 pandemic through no fault of their own, and New York has responded swiftly and comprehensively. The creation of the nation’s first Homeowner Assistance Fund is a watershed moment in ensuring that underprivileged New Yorkers receive the assistance they require while also distributing monies equitably among neighbourhoods that have bore the burden of the pandemic.”

Homeowner Assistance

Governor Hochul also announced the launch of the New York State HAF programme website, an information call centre, and a multilingual marketing campaign to educate homeowners about the programme and ensure that all New Yorkers, particularly those living in non-English speaking households, are prepared to apply when the application window opens on Jan. 3, 2022.

NYS HAF will target low- to moderate-income homeowners who are behind on mortgage payments, property taxes, water or sewer bills, as well as owners of cooperative or condominium units who are behind on maintenance fees and manufactured home owners who are behind on chattel loans or retail instalment contracts.

Eligible applicants may get financial assistance to make up for missed housing payments, to reduce mortgage debt in order to make monthly mortgage payments more affordable, and to cover up to six months of future housing payments for homeowners who are unemployed.

Eligible candidates must have a household income of less than 100% of the Area Median Income (AMI) and be at least 30 days behind on their primary residence’s monthly housing payments. The maximum award per household will be $50,000. Assistance will be provided in the form of a five-year, interest-free, non-amortizing forgiven loan. If the homeowner continues to live in the home for five years, the debt will be completely erased.

Additionally, the NYS HAF programme is collaborating with the Office of the New York State Attorney General to lobby on behalf of homeowners with mortgage lenders and servicers to ensure they receive all available relief under federal and state law. This includes extending mortgage terms, deferring missing payments or forbearance amounts, and reducing monthly payments through lower interest rates.

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