California Offers Up To $80,000.00 in Grants Through the California Mortgage Relief Program
Homeowners in California, impacted by the Covid-19 crisis, can start applying for help on their mortgage payments. These one-time grants are part of a new $1 billion federally-funded program and this is on top of the forbearance programs that allowed homeowners to defer mortgage payments for up to 15 months. Under Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan, the California Mortgage Relief Program will help an estimated 20,000 to 40,000 struggling homeowners.
The California Mortgage Relief Program is part of the state’s Housing is Key initiative. This program will pay up to $80,000.00 worth of mortgage, property tax, and insurance bills for qualified applicants. Funds from the program are given directly to your mortgage servicer. The 2021 American Rescue Plan Act’s Homeowners Assistance funds the California Mortgage Relief Program (CMRP) and is open to all eligible Californians.
“Struggling homeowners can now apply and get mortgage relief and get caught up on the housing payments they have missed,” said Tiena Johnson Hall, executive director of the California Housing Finance Agency. “We are committed to doing all we can to help Californians keep a roof over their heads.”
Who Is Eligible for the California Mortgage Relief Program?
The program is absolutely free and recipients don’t have to repay the funds. Eligible applicants must be at or below 100% of their county’s Area Median Income. They also must own a single-family home, condo, or permanently affixed manufactured home. Applicants also must have faced a pandemic-related financial hardship after January 21, 2020. However, they may only own and occupy one property. Homeowners must be at least two payments past due by December 27, 2021. Applicants also must be either a recipient of public assistance, must pay more than 40% of their income in housing costs, or must have been denied an alternate mortgage workout plan by their servicer. They can’t have cash or assets equal to or greater than the money you need plus $20,000.00. This amount does not include money in a retirement account. The money is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
“We must do everything in our power to ensure Californians don’t lose their home,” said Lourdes Castro Ramirez, secretary of California’s Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency. “Twelve percent of California homeowners are facing foreclosure and 6% percent are behind on mortgage payments due to the pandemic,” says Ramirez.
If you are in need, you can fill out an application online at CAMortgageRelief.org. The site provides links to the application in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Tagalog. The first step to applying is to complete the application questionnaire at the following link: https://calhfa-prod.onair-gov.osaas.app/eligibility-navigator/#/eligibility-navigator. Residents can also get assistance from a housing counselor by calling 800-569-4287. The California Mortgage Relief Program will continue until the earlier of September 30, 2026. California plans to use all of its funds by September 30, 2025.