Governor Scott Announces $50 million Homeowner Assistance Program
Governor Scott announced a new grant program, the Homeowner Assistance Program (HAP), which will help Vermont homeowners facing pandemic hardships. The program will be managed through the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) and is now accepting applications. The program, funded by $50 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act, will provide grants of up to $30,000 per household towards overdue mortgage payments, utility bills, property taxes, and property association charges. VHFA anticipates that the program will run for multiple years to help reduce the long-term risk of foreclosure and home loss due to the pandemic.
“This program is about supporting Vermonters. Through HAP we are keeping people in their homes, stabilizing neighborhoods, and preserving the health of our communities,” said Governor Phil Scott.
The Homeowner Assistance Program is being managed through the Vermont Housing Finance Agency and is expected to run for multiple years to help reduce the risk of home loss.
“As we move forward in our recovery, my administration is making housing a top priority,” said Scott. “In addition to supporting those experiencing homelessness and building new housing stock, we must also work to keep Vermonters in their homes, to stabilize neighborhoods, and preserve the health of our communities. This program offers another tool to help accomplish this.”
The program was supported by U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch. In a joint statement, the Vermont delegation said: “As foreclosure moratoriums and forbearance agreements end, many Vermonters are facing an uncertain future. These funds will help homeowners harmed by the pandemic get caught up on their bills and move forward.”
The program is available to any Vermont homeowner who meets the eligibility criteria and is not just for Vermont Housing Finance Agency borrowers. The program is available to homeowners for costs related to their primary home, who meet income limits, and who are behind on their bills due to a financial hardship associated with the coronavirus pandemic after Jan. 21, 2020.
More information and application materials are available at vermonthap.vhfa.org.
The website is available in several languages and includes information about how applicants can access additional translation and application assistance. A Homeowner Assistance Program information hotline is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 833-221-4208.