Hidalgo County’s Homeowner Assistance Program Goes Statewide
A pilot program in Hidalgo County that assisted eligible homeowners in paying their mortgage or property taxes has now expanded to the entire state. Residents who are late on their mortgage loans, property taxes, property loans, and fees associated with homeowners and condo associations, and who earn less than the region median income of $79,900.00, can now apply for help from the Texas Homeowner Assistance Fund. The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs administers the program with funding provided by the Homeowner Assistance Fund through the American Rescue Plan.
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“We recognize the financial challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to our community,” Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez said. “That’s why we are delighted to pilot this program targeting our residents who were affected by the pandemic.”
According to Hidalgo County Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Villarreal, his office has collected 284 payments through the program as of Wednesday, for over $1,025,000.00.
“Hidalgo County was the pilot program, and as of (Wednesday) they already opened it to the state of Texas. Everybody,” Villarreal said Thursday. “The reason that I really wanted to promote it is because I wanted to make sure that our Hidalgo County taxpayers, and maybe the rest of the Valley, can take advantage.”
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To be eligible, applicants must be a homeowner who:
- Has a household income of $79,900.00 or less
- Has fallen behind on one or more of the following expenses: property taxes, property insurance, HOA/condo fees, and mortgage payments.
- And also experienced a Qualified Financial Hardship after Jan. 21, 2021.
According to Villarreal, the initiative will be available for three years, or until the funds are gone. “Millions of dollars came through our office, and I urge everybody that can qualify to really take advantage … it’s now open to everybody,” Villarreal added. “We want to make sure that we can hopefully help the community here with those funds.”
For assistance with the application process, or for any other questions, call the Hidalgo County Community Service Agency at (956) 383-6240. Homeowners are required to submit the following documents when applying: identification card, mortgage statement, proof of occupancy (such as a utility bill), income documentation (such as pay stubs), and signed program documents. Furthermore, payments are sent directly to the mortgage servicer or property charge payee (tax authority, insurance company, or HOA) once the homeowner’s application is approved. So, for more information and applying, visit the official site.