More Connecticut residents affected by COVID eligible for mortgage assistance

The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority has sent 121 state homeowners who have been financially affected by COVID-19 invitations to apply for foreclosure prevention funds.

The dollars came from the third phase of the state’s Homeowners Assistance Fund pilot program, which is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act. The US Department of the Treasury allocates the funds, and the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority manages the state program on behalf of the state Department of Housing.

Connecticut distributed about $ 4.9 million during the first two phases of its pilot program, leaving $ 7 million for the third phase as well as for the start-up costs of the full program. So far, the program has awarded money to 343 applicants, according to data published online.

“CHFA has created a third pilot phase to address the critical need for assistance to homeowners in imminent danger of losing their homes due to third-party foreclosure, non-mortgage foreclosure or tax sale,” said Nandini Natarajan, director general of the financial authority. in a statement sent by email.

Connecticut was one of the few states to launch a pilot program.

The third phase, unlike the initial phases, includes homeowners who are at risk of losing their home because they fall behind on non-mortgage expenses, including taxes and condominium charges.

Participants identified through a partnership with the Connecticut Fair Housing Center have received invitations to apply, Natarajan said. All three phases included income requirements – for the first phase it was 80 percent of the region’s median income, but this was increased for later phases to 100 percent of the region’s median income.

The program aims to prevent a wave of foreclosures for homeowners who struggled financially during the pandemic. The US bailout set aside about $ 9.9 billion to be distributed among states and towns for homeowner assistance.

Nearly 26,000 Connecticut residents in owner-occupied homes were not convinced they would be able to make next month’s payment, according to US Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey data released in late October.

In the first year of the pandemic, the government allowed up to 18 months of withholding or temporary freezes on mortgage payments. Many seizures were also banned at the federal level for several months.

Those options expired earlier this year and many began to roll out of forbearance this fall.

Connecticut’s comprehensive program, called MyHomeCT, will receive approximately $ 123 million in assistance. The full program is expected to have more participating mortgage companies and higher income limits than the early stages, Natarajan said previously.

It is not known when the applications will be available. The state has submitted its draft plan to the Federal Treasury Department and is awaiting approval. Natarajan said in a previous interview that she expected applications to be available in early 2022.

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