A new state program funded by federal money will pay cash-strapped Vermont homeowners up to $30,000 to cover unpaid housing expenses.
Tthe Homeowner Assistance Program (HAP), which will help Vermont homeowners facing pandemic hardships, is now accepting applications. The program, funded by $50 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), will provide grants of up to $30,000 per household towards overdue mortgage payments, utility bills, property taxes, and property association charges.
The HAP is being managed through the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) and expected to run for multiple years to help reduce the long-term risk of foreclosure and home loss.
“As we move forward in our recovery, my Administration is making housing a top priority,” said Governor Scott. “In addition to supporting those experiencing homelessness and building new housing stock, we must also work to keep Vermonters in their homes, to stabilize neighborhoods and preserve the health of our communities. This program offers another tool to help accomplish this.”
Passed as a part of ARPA, this program was supported by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.). In a joint statement, the Vermont Delegation said: “As foreclosure moratoriums and forbearance agreements end, many Vermonters are facing an uncertain future. These funds will help homeowners harmed by the pandemic get caught up on their bills and move forward.”
Earlier in the pandemic, VHFA organized the Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP), which assisted nearly 900 households with a total of $10 million in mortgage and property tax assistance. The additional federal ARPA funding allows the HAP to offer expanded criteria to support homeowners who do not have a mortgage or who have a reverse mortgage, and it will also cover utility bills and homeowner and condominium association fees, to help even more households facing financial challenges.
The program is available to any Vermont homeowner who meets the eligibility criteria, and is not just for VHFA mortgage borrowers. The program is available to Vermont homeowners for expenses related to their primary home, who meet income limits, and who are behind on their bills due to a financial hardship associated with the coronavirus pandemic after January 21, 2020.
“Since the HAP funding is provided as a one-time-only grant, we highly encourage homeowners to talk with a local HUD-approved housing counselor prior to applying,” remarked Eric Hoffman, VHFA’s Manager of Homeownership Business Development, who previously worked as a foreclosure intervention counselor. “Their free counseling services can help applicants make sure they are taking advantage of all the loss-mitigation tools that may be available to them.”
More information and application materials are available at vermonthap.vhfa.org. The website is available in several languages and includes information about how applicants can access additional translation and application assistance. A Homeowner Assistance Program information hotline is open 9 am – 4 pm, Monday through Friday, at 833-221-4208.
Categories: State Government
“Passed as a part of ARPA, this program was supported by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.).”
And to those of us who have handled our finances prudently, paid off our mortgages (but still struggle with usurious property taxes) while on fixed incomes…. What? … Let them eat cake!
Must be some more of that “Diamond Mine” mad money Mr. McClaughry was writing about yesterday…”Federal Money”..Borrowed against the taxpayers future…Added on to the trillions and trillions that’s called our national debt…I’m gonna invest in a new wheel barrel for future use to carry around the American peso’s it will take to buy a loaf of bread.
There is no pandemic.
People are struggling financially due to a pandemic of communism at the State House. The intent is to make people completely dependent upon government for their daily needs, not protect us from a virus.
Why do i pay my mortgage, keep a balanced budget, decline to live beyond my means or carry credit card debt when the leaders of our country refuse? Financially, id have been better off falling behind in payments while all of you make up the difference. Thats not my culture, its not American, and i cannot live like that. The less gov. the better.. What dod Reagan say, “government is not the solution to your problems. Government is the problem. “