Texas Fund Helps Homeowners, But Obstacles Limit Access
The American Rescue plan of 2021 has awarded the State of Texas with over 840 million to develop programs that will help Texans impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. Using those funds, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) has developed the Texas Homeowner Assistance Fund (TXHAF) which provides up to $40,000.00 in mortgage assistance and up to $25,000.00 in other housing-related expenses such as property taxes, insurance, and delinquent association fees.
Since the beginning of March, the TXHAF has distributed a great percentage of those funds, and provided help to a lot of families, including over 200 Dallas County families. This ranks Dallas County fourth statewide. Hidalgo County ranks first in the state, with 1,283 households. Their recent data shows that the state has helped 3,879 families with an average of $6,992.00 per household. However, getting that assistance is not that easy. There are plenty of eligibility requirements that must be met by both the applicants and their property. Applications can also be submitted online, which can cause a problem for those not so familiar with technology. One other requirement that causes issues with applicants is the proof of income for the previous three months.
According to Kate Bulger, director of business development at Money Management, the average Texas family is currently between $6,000.00 and $7,000.00 in debt.
“We’re seeing families falling behind on payments because they lose their income or their income is lowered because of COVID-19. Even though it’s possible that they already recovered their pre-pandemic salary, it’s more difficult for them to make those extra payments due to other factors such as an increase in prices of goods and services because of inflation,” said Bulger.