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  • The Housing and Urban Development Department has created a new mortgage assistance program, the Emergency Homeowner’s Loan Program, designed to help unemployed workers who are struggling to pay their mortgages. This long-awaited program could be just what thousands of families needed to avoid foreclosing on their home loans. Although this program is administered on the local level, all participating states are following the same guidelines so they can be described jointly in this article. Five other states, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Maryland, and Pennsylvania have their own unemployed workers assistance programs with similar services and features offered to homeowners. This article will look at what the program offers unemployed workers and how you can benefit from this assistance program.

    Participating States

    The participating states in this program are Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming and Puerto Rico. The program was created as a partnership between the United States government, and community partners throughout the country. One of the largest of these supporting partnerships is NeighborWorks America.

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    This program was launched with funding from the Dodd-Frank Act, which set aside $1 billion dollars to implement the program. The program provides interest free loans to unemployed workers who are struggling with their mortgage payments. The maximum loan under the Emergency Homeowner’s Loan Program is $50,000. The loan can be used to pay for mortgage payments over a period of no more than 2 years. After a long waiting period since rumors of the program were first leaked by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the program is set to launch as soon as the Senate signs the bill after the House of Representatives signed it in March of this year.

    Estimates and forecasts from the Department of Housing and Urban Development set the number of unemployed workers set to benefit from this program at 30,000 and the average loan they will receive at $35,000. As with most programs launched by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD, they will be managed by other agencies with funds granted by HUD. In this case, the managing organizations will be non-profit community agencies, such as NeighborWorks America who are well placed in the community throughout the participating states to provide the help needed. The next article in this series will provide more information on the particulars of this program and how many funds were assigned to each state.

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