NY homeowners can now apply to get up to $50K in relief for mortgage, utility payments. Here’s how.
New York homeowners experiencing financial hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic can now apply to receive up to $50,000 in relief to ward off foreclosure and pay expenses such as water bills and property taxes.
On Monday, New York residents could start applying for the state's Homeowner Assistance Fund, which is eligible for homeowners at risk of default, foreclosure, or displacement.
The number of applications for the money will likely exceed the number of applications that can be funded with the $539 million allotted for the program, the state's application website warned. Applications will be processed in the order they are received, and submitting an application doesn't guarantee assistance for any given individual or family.
New York became the first state in the county to receive the funding through a $10 billion federal Homeowner Assistance Fund that was approved as part of the coronavirus stimulus package last spring.
The state Homeowner Assistance Fund is separate from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which provided funding for rent and utility payments to landlords on behalf of eligible tenants.
Still, the state Homeowner Assistance Fund comes as a balm, particularly for historically disadvantaged communities, state officials said this week.
Gov. Kathy Hochul said the state’s Homeowner Assistance Fund is a “critical tool to help ease the pain of the pandemic felt disproportionately in rural communities, communities of color, and immigrant communities."
"My administration will continue to stand by homeowners, renters, and all New Yorkers every step of the way as part of our economic recovery," she added.
More on homeowner assistance in NY:NY homeowners can apply for relief funding to pay mortgage, utility bills. Here's how
Who can apply?
The program is available to New York residents who are also homeowners and live in that home as their primary residence, according to the state’s Homeowner Assistance Fund.
The fund is also open to owners of cooperative or condo units who are behind on maintenance fees, the state said in a statement. Manufactured homeowners behind on chattel loans, retail installment contracts, or lot rents can also apply.
Where can I apply?
Applications can be submitted at nyhomeownerfund.org. They can also be submitted to the state’s Homeowner Assistance Fund call center, 844-77-NYHAF (844-776-9423).
The applicant can speak with a live operator in one of several languages, including Spanish, Arabic, and Haitian-Creole. The operators can assist in submitting an application.
What can the money be used for?
The funding can be used to cover various expenses, including:
- Missed housing payments
- Reducing mortgage debt to make payments more affordable
- Property taxes
- Sewage and water bills
It can also be used by:
- Unemployed homeowners, who can access up to six months of future housing payments
- Co-op or condo homeowners, who can use the aid for late monthly charges such as maintenance fees or homeowners association payments
Call center employees and case managers can also help applicants find out whether they are eligible for other mortgage relief.
Do I need to pay the money back?
Financial assistance will be structured as a five-year non-interest bearing, non-amortizing forgivable grant, according to the state Homeowner Association Fund website.
The grant will be fully forgiven if the homeowner does not sell, transfer or refinance within five years of receiving the grant, the state’s website said. The homeowner will also have to continue living in the home within that time period.
What’s the deadline?
The application period will be open for 30 days. However, if the program is not “fully committed” at the end of that initial window, the application period will be extended for at least another month.
Find out more about the program at www.nyhomeownerfund.org.