New Hampshire Homeowner Assistance Fund To Help Struggling Homeowners
On Feb. 14, the New Hampshire Homeowner Assistance Fund Program began accepting applications from homeowners across the state who have suffered financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. New Hampshire homeowners who have fallen behind on mortgage payments or property taxes as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak may be eligible for a federally sponsored program that has just begun accepting applications. The program was established through the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery in partnership with the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority. The Homeowner Assistance Fund Program is paid for by a $50 million grant to New Hampshire from the U.S. Department of Treasury as part of the American Rescue Plan Act in 2021.
“We are waiting for final contract approval from the Executive Council before fully launching the program,” she said, adding that opening the application process early means officials will be able to help homeowners quickly once the program does launch. “Opening the portal also enables the [N.H. Homeowner Assistance Fund Program] to test the application systems and gather further data on the need for assistance.”
NH HAF program offers three types of assistance, with a maximum benefit per property of $20,000.00:
• Mortgage Loan Reinstatement – funds for delinquent mortgage payments (maximum benefit – $20,000.00)
• Property Charges Default Resolution – funds for delinquent property taxes, homeowner insurance, homeowner association or condominium fees/dues, and co-op maintenance or lot rents (maximum benefit – $20,000.00)
• Utility / Internet Payment Assistance – funds for delinquent utility (electricity, gas, heating fuel costs, and internet payments (maximum benefit – $3,000.00)
According to a fact sheet from N.H. Housing, assistance funds will be paid in two ways, depending on the amount a homeowner needs. If the total amount of assistance exceeds $5,000.00, the money will be structured as a two-year forgiving grant that must be repaid if the house is sold during that time frame but will be forgiven otherwise. It will be a non-recourse award if the amount is less than $5,000.00.
To be eligible, homeowners must:
- Have experienced a COVID-related reduction in income or increase in household expense after January 21, 2020
- Own and occupy the property as their primary residence
- Have incomes of less than 125% of their Area Median Income
To receive information and updates about the NH Homeowner Assistance Fund, click here to sign up.