California Expands Eligibility for Mortgage Relief Money to $80,000
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the housing market in California, as well as the rest of the country. The pandemic led to an economic downturn, job losses, and financial hardships for many families. As a result, the state of California created the California Mortgage Relief Program in December 2021 to provide relief to homeowners who were struggling to pay their mortgages due to the pandemic. The program was created using federal dollars from the American Rescue Act and has been able to provide much-needed assistance to thousands of homeowners in the state.
Angela Morrow is one such homeowner who was able to benefit from the California Mortgage Relief Program. Morrow had only been working as a flight attendant for eight months when she was laid off due to the pandemic. This put her at risk of losing her home in San Bernardino County. However, with the help of the program, she was able to pay off over $54,000 worth of mortgage debt and lower her monthly payments for the long-term. For Morrow, the program has been a monumental blessing, providing a solid foundation for her children and their future after she’s gone.
To date, the program has given out $300 million to 10,000 homeowners in California. However, there is still as much as $700 million worth of aid available for borrowers who qualify for the program. This has prompted state officials to expand the eligibility criteria to include some who took out second mortgages. The expansion comes as officials are concerned that the pandemic era housing market could still imperil homeownership in the state, particularly for lower- and middle-income families. With fewer than 56% of Californians living in homes they or their families own, the state is focused on ensuring that people are not penalized and lose the opportunity for generational wealth due to circumstances outside of their control.