State Housing Commission launches federally funded program to help homeowners with mortgage rates – Reuters

ST. PAUL — Homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgages and other living expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic are in luck.

The Minnesota Housing Commission has launched a program for homeowners who have experienced financial hardship and fallen behind on mortgage payments due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program,

HomeHelpMN

began on May 17, 2022 and will have an open application period until June 17, 2022 for eligible individuals.

“This is not a program for procrastinators, now is the time to apply,” Minnesota Housing Commissioner Jennifer Ho said of the application period timeline.

For those requesting HomeHelpMN, the Minnesota Housing Commission will act as a third-party mediator between homeowners and mortgage lenders to ensure that outstanding mortgage payments and housing expenses are paid.

Those who are eligible to apply for this program must have an income at or below 100% of the area median income based on the county in which they live. Applicants who receive assistance from this program may receive up to $35,000 to pay overdue expenses which would be reimbursed directly to mortgage lenders. Housing commission assistance will not have to be repaid by applicants.

Applicants should be sure that when applying, all outstanding expenses are dated January 21, 2020 or later. There are two main qualified financial hardships that the Housing Commission focuses on when it comes to rewarding applicants; reduction in income since January 21, 2020 and increase in living expenses from the same date.

The program is funded by Congress and the US Department of Treasury Homeowner Assistance Fund. HomeHelpMN has a total budget of $109 million to help homeowners.

“We anticipate a high need for assistance,” Ho said. “We expect the number of applicants requiring assistance to exceed the total amount of funds available to us. That’s why we encourage you to spread the word so landlords can apply as soon as possible.

A call center has been set up by the Housing Commission for applicants to reach anytime between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Interpreters are also available for anyone applying by phone or online for Hmong, Somali and Spanish speakers. All applicants will be required to provide proof of ownership, photo ID, income documentation, and supporting documents to show where financial assistance is required.

The Housing Commission plans to award applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline for submitting applications is June 17, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.

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