Millions in Mortgage Aid Awaits: Secure Your Funds through Re-Registration!

Millions in Mortgage Aid Awaits: Secure Your Funds through Re-Registration!

A pressing crisis is gripping thousands of homeowners in Pennsylvania, pushing them perilously close to the brink of losing their homes. The Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund holds the key to financial relief, with millions of dollars allocated to pay mortgages and other critical bills. However, the process has hit a roadblock, leaving many homeowners unable to access the much-needed funds.

The situation has reached a critical point, with an overwhelming backlog of applications for the Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund. Since the application process began in February of the previous year, thousands have found themselves stuck in a seemingly endless queue, facing the grim possibility of foreclosure. This dire situation prompted Deborah Brown of Southwest Philadelphia to join a rally at the Pennsylvania State Capitol earlier this summer, drawing attention to the urgent need for resolution.

Deborah’s personal story underscores the gravity of the crisis. As an 80-year-old trying to take care of her son, who suffered a stroke after losing his job during COVID, she finds herself falling further behind on mortgage payments. Despite applying for the Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund, also known as the Foreclosure Fund, she remains trapped in a desperate financial situation, owing her mortgage company $4,000 and living without gas for two years.

The Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund, part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, allocated a substantial $350 million to the state, with the primary aim of providing mortgage assistance of up to $50,000. The fund is also intended to cover utility bills, property taxes, and other essential housing expenses. Yet, the backlog and administrative challenges have delayed the much-needed relief for those facing financial distress.

John Dodds of the PA Save Our Homes Coalition highlights the urgency of the situation, stating, “Pennsylvania is number four in the nation for the number of foreclosures completed, meaning people actually lost their homes. And this money needs to go to pay people’s mortgages.”

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) is responsible for administering the mortgage relief funds. Currently, the agency is grappling with a staggering backlog of 11,000 homeowner applications. The program’s initial management by a third-party vendor led to complications, prompting PHFA to pause the program and take over operations earlier this year.

Bryce Maretzki of PHFA acknowledges the challenges, saying, “When we opened this program, there were thousands and thousands and thousands of homeowners that were struggling because of COVID, and it overwhelmed the system.” In response, PHFA has ramped up efforts to process applications and disburse funds. From processing 175 applications a month, the agency has now scaled up to handling 800 applications a month and disbursing $2 million to $8 million monthly.

To sustain this positive momentum, PHFA is urging homeowners who have already applied to re-register. This simple step will ensure accurate information and verification, enabling PHFA to swiftly navigate through the backlog and provide the essential assistance that homeowners desperately need.

The message is clear: Act now to secure the financial support that can safeguard homeowners’ futures. If you are a homeowner in need of assistance, re-register online or call PHFA at 1-888-978-2423. Don’t delay—this is a critical opportunity to protect your home and secure the stability your family deserves. Let us come together to weather this storm and ensure that no homeowner loses their home due to the financial strains of COVID.

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