You don’t have to be a fortune teller or an expert political strategist to find out that new federal government stimulus plans aren’t coming anytime soon. The political dynamics are such that the votes in Congress just aren’t there right now for new controls. But that said, incentive payments aren’t the only kind of aid available to Americans, either. There is related financial aid that can also help millions of Americans, for example, pay their mortgage.
Along these lines, there is at least one program that many people may not even be aware of. It is the Homeowners Relief Fund. And the idea here is that there is a pot of money available to help homeowners. Especially those who struggle with things like mortgage payments. But recipients can also use the money for taxes, association rights, and other payments related to home ownership. Even paying for things like utility bills and insurance costs.
Mortgage help available
“The US bailout plan provides nearly $10 billion for states, territories and tribes to provide assistance to our nation’s most vulnerable homeowners,” explains a Treasury Department fact sheet.
Applicable financing applications include mortgage arrears, which can help Americans across the country take a step in the right direction toward household stabilization. These necessary actions will minimize the number of foreclosures in the coming months, increase capacity of emergency shelters and reduce potential COVID-19 infections.”
Here are some key points to know about the fund:
- The Treasury Department will distribute at least $50 million among every state in the US. That is money that must be spent by September 30, 2025.
- The money will be distributed through state housing programs.
- The homeowner must also have suffered some form of hardship. Like losing a job, for example.
Housing market is heating up
In the meantime, it should be noted that all of this is taking place against the background of a rebound in home buying activity. For example, mortgage applications for new homes rose by 2% in the past week compared to the previous week. Also, the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (with a balance of $647,200 or less) rose to its highest since March 2020, to 3.52%, up from 3.33%.
Mortgage rates rose significantly for all types of loans over the past week as signals from the Federal Reserve about tightening policies going forward pushed US Treasury yields higher,” economist Joel Kan said. CNBC. “The housing market started strong in 2022. Both conventional and government purchases showed an increase, with FHA purchase applications up nearly 9% and VA applications up more than 5%.”
However, the general economy is still not in top shape. For example, inflation has just reached a multi-decade high. Unless you got a big raise last year? Rising inflation basically amounts to getting a pay cut. Some of what we see in the housing market may simply be an activity that has been shut down because of the pandemic.
Where can you apply for the Homeowners Assistance Fund?
What about mortgage assistance through your own fund? Well, one downside is that there isn’t a one-stop-shop where you can go to request help. This money is based on the state level. And states are responsible for carrying out this program.
“States are working diligently with Treasury to complete and launch their HAF programs,” explains the National Council of State Housing Agencies. “Some states are using the money they’ve received to set up pilot mortgage assistance programs so they can help homeowners earlier.”
To find help in your state or US territory? Click this link and then scroll down to the map of the US to zoom in on your state to see what it has to offer.