Building on the success of the past year, the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) for residents on Hawaiʻi Island has now expanded to $9 million, offering even greater benefit to homeowners who are in financial hardship.
Eligible homeowners on Hawai‘i Island can apply for grants up to $30,000 to reduce monthly payments, pay past-due mortgages, pay past-due property taxes, and/or pay past-due HOA fees. All homeowners who apply may receive free HUD housing counseling to assist with creating a budget and action plan, including loan modifications, to prevent foreclosure.
An estimated 850 homeowners will be helped through the expanded program, which will continue through September 2025 or until the fund is depleted, whichever is sooner. Since the program started in November 2021, 282 homeowners have been assessed for assistance and enrolled in free housing counseling.
The HAF program is funded through the County of Hawai‘i and administered by together Hawai‘i Community Lending (HCL) with applications being accepted by phone, online, or in person at Financial Opportunity Centers (FOCs) run by partner nonprofit, Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA).
Requirements of the program are as follows:
• Live in your home on Hawai‘i Island
• Own no other real property
• Have a first mortgage that was originated before Jan. 21, 2020 (not required for past-due property taxes and HOA fees)
• Have experienced financial hardship (i.e., a 10% decrease in annual income or 10%
increase in household expenses since March 2020)
• Have less than $25,000 in assets (i.e. retirement, savings, pension) or less than five times your monthly mortgage payment
• Meet the maximum annual household income requirements
- Have a loan with one of the qualifying mortgage servicers (not required for past-due property taxes and past-due HOA fees)
To apply for the program, complete the following five steps:
- 1) Go to http://hawaiicommunitylending.com/grants-loans/ to see if your mortgage servicer is participating in the Homeowner Assistance Fund (not required for past-due property taxes and HOA fees).
- 2) Enroll at a Financial Opportunity Center.
- 3) Complete a homeowner questionnaire to determine if you are eligible.
- 4) Receive free housing counseling to prevent foreclosure.
- 5) Work with Hawai‘i Community Lending’s Mortgage Loan Consultants to obtain up to $30,000 to pay your past-due mortgage, reduce mortgage payments, and past-due property taxes and HOA fees.
For more information about the program or to apply, please contact HCL at 808-587-7656, www.HawaiiCommunityLending.com or email HAF@hawaiiancommunity.net.
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