Governor Whitmer Introduces Assistance Program for Homeowners
The Homeowner Assistance Fund, established under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, helps mitigate the hardships felt by homeowners impacted by COVID-19.
It’s operated by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.
“There’s two major needs,” says MSHDA Homeownership Director Mary Townley. “The first one is homeowners that struggled during the shutdown of COVID – either their employer went out of business or they closed shop for quite a while. They are not getting the hours they used to. The other primary reason we see is housing related costs have increased due to COVID so maybe one of the house members got sick, the other one had to take time off to care for them – it’s a multitude of different reasons.”
The Homeowner Assistance Fund provides funds to prevent homeowner mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosure, loss of utilities or home energy services and displacements of homeowners experiencing financial hardship.
“If we stop the foreclosure from happening it will continue to stabilize the neighborhoods,” says Townley. “If we turn a blind eye and let the foreclosures take place when we have an opportunity it will decrease property values and destabilize neighborhoods.”
Michigan received $242,812,277 for the fund, based on the number of Michiganders unemployed and the number of people with delinquent mortgage payments.
Those that are eligible include:
- Homeowners with household incomes less than 150% of Area Median Income (AMI)
- Homeowners who own and live in that property
- Homeowners must have and explain a financial hardship directly related to COVID-19 on or after January 21, 2020.
Additionally, Households can receive up to $25,000 if they are faced with one of the following:
- Delinquent mortgage/housing expenses, including property tax and insurance escrow shortages
- Delinquent land contract payments, mobile home consumer loan payments or mobile home park lot payments
- Delinquent property taxes
- Delinquent condominium/homeowners’ association fees
- Delinquent homeowners insurance,
- Delinquent utilities, gas, electric, water, sewer
- Delinquent internet broadband services
To apply, you can use either the online application portal, or call the customer service number at 844-756-4423 to apply over the phone.
If you prefer to have an in-person conversation with someone to help you through the application, reach out to a statewide counseling agent by clicking here.