Illinois Governor JB Pritzker (D) announced on Wednesday that the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) will restart the state’s Homeowners Assistance Fund (HAF) program designed to provide financial assistance to owners who have experienced difficulties resulting from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The program — which is available to reverse mortgage borrowers in the state — provides up to $30,000 in mortgage assistance to eligible homeowners. The funds are paid directly to the administrator, the tax office or “another approved entity”, while the owners work to stabilize their financial situation.
“Whether homeowners have a mortgage, reverse mortgage, or no mortgage, the program can fund past-due housing payments and up to three months of potential mortgage payments,” the announcement reads.
Homeowners who have received a previous round of assistance are eligible for additional funds in this case, but their total financial relief cannot exceed $30,000, according to the announcement.
“No Illinoisan should have to choose between paying their mortgage and putting food on the table,” Governor Pritzker said in a statement. “That’s why we created the Illinois Homeowners Assistance Fund to provide much-needed relief to our residents who have struggled throughout the pandemic. Today, I am proud to announce that we are reopening this program so that no family in Illinois will be left without a roof over their head. I encourage all eligible households to apply for ILHAF funding starting November 1, and thank the entire team at the Illinois Housing Development Authority for its leadership.
The Homeowners Assistance Fund was made possible by the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act in March 2021, the first major economic stimulus legislation signed into law by President Joe Biden. While reverse mortgage servicing professionals have praised the availability of funds, the nature of their disbursement to individual states to then provide relief to their residents has been slow.
According to local Michigan state press, for example, the program’s availability has just rolled out to homeowners in Mecosta, Osceola, and Lake counties. However, there are other indications that state programs are not uniformly supporting reverse mortgage borrowers according to a counseling professional who spoke with RMD.
Some other states have closed their online application portals for HAF relief because they expect the allotted money to have already run out, according to National Consumer Law Center attorney Sarah Bolling Mancini in a recent presentation on reverse mortgage advice. Barriers also exist among states that still offer HAF relief applications, as many do not sufficiently publicize the qualification of reverse mortgage borrowers, and the fully online process of an HAF application can also be a barrier for borrowers. reverse mortgages at least 62 years old. when their loan was issued, she said.
“HAF is not going to entirely solve this problem,” Mancini explained. “But most of all we want our housing counselor community to talk to the people of HAF. And if you are dealing with a reverse mortgage borrower who is at risk of foreclosure, you should consider HAF. This is one of the most important things I wanted to convey is that this is an important solution.
Visit the ILHAF website.