WSAZ investigation | W.Va. Owners Rescue Program

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – The COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on area families.

Job instability has made it difficult for many to pay their bills, resulting in long-term late payments. Now, a new program in West Virginia will help homeowners eliminate what they owe and get rid of that financial burden.

NewsChannel 3’s Joseph Payton shows what you need to apply and how to navigate the application process. He spoke with Jessica Greathouse, special programs coordinator for the West Virginia Housing Development Fund, about tracking mortgage payments and utility payments.

“One of people’s basic needs is a roof over their heads, and it helps to keep a roof over their heads for them and their families,” Greathouse said, referring to the rescue program from West Virginia Homeowners, which is rolling out this week. .

According to Greathouse, the program will help families regain financial balance by allowing them to request money to catch up on missed mortgage and utility payments.

Although it is considered free money, there are certain eligibility requirements. “First, you have to own it,” Greathouse said. “Second, your household income must not exceed 150% of the area median income in your county.”

Before starting the online application process, you will need some documents, but you can take a photo and upload it directly from your phone or tablet.

These documents include:

– Your most recent mortgage statement

– Proof of identity – e.g. license, birth certificate or passport

– Proof of residency – this could be a current utility bill, recent payslip, or social security benefit letter with your name and address

– Proof of income – if you receive government assistance, simply upload the letter confirming these benefits…. Otherwise, you will simply upload the first two pages of your 2021 1040 tax form.

– A recent utility bill – it just needs to be within the last 45 days.

“They can head towards our website,” Greathouse told candidates who have their documents ready. “After creating an account, you can start the application.”

The first page will ask you questions about your eligibility – questions like do you own your own home? And have you suffered from a COVID ordeal? Greathouse said hardship can be defined in many ways.

“Everything from quarantine, sick or out-of-school children to reduced working hours or just having difficulty finding a job,” she said.

Then you will select the county you live in, the number of people who live in the house and you will enter personal information. At this point, you will be asked to upload these documents and answer a few questions.

“Save and carry on,” Greathouse said. “But now I have to indicate what my monthly income is. Then comes the screen where I have the right to provide the type of assistance I want. If you need help with utility bills, you’ll just want to make sure you know who your service providers are and your specific account numbers with those providers.

“Save and continue, and we’re now on the final page of the app,” Greathouse said.

All that remains is to sign your initials, submit the application and wait. Greathouse said it could take a few weeks or even a month to process your request, but they want to be thorough.

“We really want to help people as much as possible,” Greathouse said. “That’s why it takes a long time.”

You will be able to check the status of your application by logging into the account you created. Greathouse said they also have a paper application that can be mailed to your home if you prefer to submit your application that way.

For more information on how to apply, you can visit the West Virginia Homeowners Rescue Program website.

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