New Hampshire Homeowners can Find Financial Support during Difficult Times
A new program aimed at helping homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgage or facing foreclosure was presented to the Berlin City Council during a recent work session. The program, which is part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, offers financial assistance to eligible homeowners in New Hampshire.
Ruth Heintz, managing attorney for New Hampshire Legal Assistance, informed the council that $5 million of the $40 million New Hampshire Homeowner Assistance Fund has already been spent, leaving 35 million dollars still available for eligible homeowners in need. The program began on March 9, 2022, with the first payments made to eligible applicants on April 8, 2022.
To be eligible for the program, homeowners must have experienced a COVID-related hardship after January 21, 2020 and must own and occupy the property as their primary residence. The applicant’s income must also be less than 125 percent of the area median income. The maximum amount of financial assistance available through the program is $20,000 for mortgage loan reinstatement, $20,000 for property charge default resolution, and $3,000 for utility and internet payment assistance.
Heintz encouraged homeowners who may need financial help to keep their home to apply for the program. She emphasized the importance of getting the word out about the available assistance, especially for homeowners who are in danger of losing their property.
The program is available through the New Hampshire Housing Organization and is a partnership between New Hampshire Legal Assistance, 603 Legal Aid, and AHEAD (Affordable Housing, Education and Development). As of January 6, 1,547 total applications have been submitted, and the total amount distributed in the state is $4.7 million, with an average payment of $5,154.75 per household.
To learn more about the program and how to apply, homeowners can visit NHHFA.org. They can also contact AHEAD at [email protected] or by phone at 603-444-1377, ext. 1014. For immediate assistance with the risk of foreclosure, tax deed, or a sheriff’s sale, homeowners can contact 603 Legal Aid at 603-224-3333. The office is open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and more information can be found on their website at 603legalaid.org.