Md. Opens Homeowner Assistance Fund
Maryland homeowners who struggle with housing expenses due to financial hardships related to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for assistance under the new Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund.
The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development will administer the $248-million fund.
Funds will be allocated in certain cases where people are delinquent in mortgage payments, property taxes, homeowners association dues or other expenses, or if they face repairs or need to make energy efficiency improvements.
Legal counseling and foreclosure avoidance programs may also qualify under the program.
“Across Maryland, there are homeowners who are struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments due to the financial hardships related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Governor Larry Hogan said. “The programs we are announcing today through the Homeowner Assistance Fund will help keep Marylanders in their homes and support our state’s economic recovery.”
Governor Larry Hogan’s office released these details about how the program would work:
Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund. The State of Maryland will be distributing $248 million through the fund in the following targeted amounts:
- Approximately $171 million to provide loans to assist homeowners who have experienced financial hardship with their mortgages and $34 million to provide grants to assist with property tax, homeowner association, and other types of delinquencies
- $10 million for the WholeHome program to help homeowners with necessary repairs and energy efficiency improvements
- $8 million for housing counseling agencies and $3 million for legal services providers to help homeowners navigate the foreclosure process
- $22 million for program case management, administration, and marketing and outreach to ensure eligible homeowners, including minority populations and those in especially hard-hit areas, are aware of the relief
“Maryland was one of the first three states whose plans were approved by the U.S. Treasury in late November,” said Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “Our team has been working diligently to ensure we are one of the first states to deploy this assistance to those who need it most.”
Be Informed. Marylanders currently experiencing issues with their mortgage should contact their mortgage servicer—the company that processes their monthly payment—to inquire about forbearance and loss mitigation options. To be connected to housing counseling and legal services, call 1-877-462-7555. DHCD is awarding $4.4M in Fiscal Year 2022 to 29 housing counseling and legal services agencies that can help Marylanders access Homeowner Assistance Fund relief.
Program Portal. The Homeowner Assistance Fund will assist applicants who were unemployed or underemployed on or after Jan. 21, 2020, resulting in mortgage delinquency or forbearance and other types of homeowner delinquencies. Marylanders can determine their eligibility and apply by visiting homeownerassistance.maryland.gov and clicking on “Check Eligibility” under “Get Started.” For assistance in applying or navigating the application portal, call 833-676-0119, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. or Saturday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Emergency Home Repairs. The Homeowner Assistance Fund WholeHome Grant will help Maryland homeowners who have an emergency repair in their primary residence that they are unable to address because of the financial impact of COVID-19. Without addressing these repairs, it will cause the homeowner to be “involuntarily displaced” from the property. The grant will be capped at $10,000 and will be used to address any emergency repairs, including mold remediation, asbestos and lead paint removal, no heat or no air, electrical repairs, plumbing and septic repairs, and other structural and maintenance issues. For more information and to apply visit dhcd.maryland.gov/wholehome or call 877-568-6105.
Mortgage Servicer Help. The Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation (OCFR) within the Maryland Department of Labor is responsible for regulating the mortgage service industry in Maryland. If a homeowner feels that their servicer is not properly participating in the Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund, they may report their concern to OCFR by calling 410-230-6077 or by visiting labor.maryland.gov/finance/consumers to submit a complaint.
Visit homeownerassistance.maryland.gov for additional program details, including eligibility information, a document checklist, and answers to frequently asked questions.