Congresswoman Deborah Wasserman Schultz Accuses Governor Desantis of DEO’s Slow Distribution of HAF Funds

Congresswoman Schultz

In a recent press conference, Congresswoman Deborah Wasserman Schultz claimed Governor Desantis is not doing enough to help Florida homeowners and has distributed only 16% of the $676 million awarded by the American Rescue plan of 2021.

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“Not enough families know that this money is available to them,” said Congresswoman Schultz. “It’s just unconscionable that the Governor has not fixed the problem with DEO, and even more unconscionable that he’s not letting homeowners know that they have this assistance available.”

According to official numbers, the Florida Homeowner Assistance Fund program has approved $213,870,170.00 and helped 7,690 families so far.

A late mortgage, property tax, insurance, utility bill, and homeowner or condominium association dues can be paid with financial assistance from the Florida Homeowner Assistance Fund program up to a maximum of $50,000.00. Direct payments of this money are made to utility companies or mortgage servicers. If the Covid-19 outbreak began or persisted after January 21, 2020, it must have resulted in financial hardship for homeowners. The property for which they are requesting must be their primary residence (secondary homes and vacation homes are not allowed), and it must be located in Florida’s territory. The applicant’s income must be equal to or less than the higher of the following: 150% of the area median income (AMI) or 100% of the US median income.

“If you’re a homeowner who has faced any sort of financial hardship after Jan. 21, 2020, or the hardship date before that and continued on through the pandemic, you may be eligible for this relief,” said Laura Wagner, Executive Director with Floridians for Honest Lending.

The Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), appointed by Governor Santis to manage this program, responded to these accusations by giving a statement to CBS News Miami:

“It is unfortunate when an elected official misinforms its constituents – especially when it places an unnecessary burden on our state’s most vulnerable homeowners and can discourage them from getting the critical assistance they need. Florida currently leads the nation in providing assistance through the HAF program. This means Florida – despite the delayed federal approval of Florida’s HAF program – is outperforming every state, including California and New York, on an expedited timeline.”
For registration on Florida HAF Program, visit their official site. For more information call 833-987-8997 or email [email protected]

For more information on getting a grant and also learning about refinance programs, take a look at this.

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