Mayor Muriel Bowser and the DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Launched a New $50 Million Homeownership Program
A new homeownership program was launched last month by Mayor Muriel Bowser and the DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) with $50 million provided by the American Rescue plan of 2021. Homeowners in DC affected by Covid-19 can apply for grant funds to cover their delinquent mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities, homeowner association fees, as well as other housing expenses. The maximum amount they can receive is $120,000.00.
“With this program, we’re adding another resource to our homeownership toolkit,” said Mayor Bowser. “Homeownership is a critical tool for helping residents stay and build wealth in DC. That’s why we’re increasing our down payment assistance program, why we launched the Black Homeownership Strike Force, why we have the Safe at Home program, and, now, why we are launching this Homeowner Assistance Fund. All of these programs together is how we give more Washingtonians a fair shot.”
Who is eligible for the DC Homeowner Assistance Fund program?
There are specific requirements that must be met by both the applicant and their property to be eligible for these funds. They must be owner-occupants of the home they are applying for since June 1, 2021, and it must be located within DC. Regarding their household income, it cannot surpass 100% of the Area Median Income (AMI). With an annual income up to 150% of the Area Median Income, households that self-identify as “Socially Disadvantaged” may also be eligible for mortgage reinstatement help.
The applicants must have fallen behind the above-mentioned payments after January 21, 2020, as follows:
- Mortgage Reinstatement: at least 3 months behind;
- Homeowner, Condominium, or Cooperative Association: at least 1 payment behind;
- Homeowners Insurance: at least 1 payment behind;
- Property Taxes: t least 1 payment behind;
- Utilities (electric, gas, home energy, water, and/or internet services): at least 1 payment behind.
The home mortgage foreclosure moratorium in the District expires on June 30, 2022. This means that the DC Mayor Muriel Bowser-signed Foreclosure Moratorium Extension Emergency Amendment Act of 2022, D.C. Act 24-320, forbids the foreclosure of owner-occupied and heir-occupied residences through June 30, 2022, based on unpaid condo fees, property taxes, or mortgages. Additionally, this emergency law extends a moratorium on foreclosure until September 30, 2022, for homeowners whose applications for specific government homeowner assistance programs (such as the HAF program) are still pending approval, payment, or appeal.