Pennsylvania Homeowners Who Need Support Will Need to Re-Register for Mortgage Assistance Program

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By Ashley Adams

August 9, 2023

The Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund, part of the American Rescue Plan Act, has millions of dollars left to help homeowners. But a backlog in applications is forcing residents to re-register to get assistance.

Thousands of Pennsylvanians are at risk of losing their homes, but it’s not for lack of trying to get help available to them.

Millions of dollars are available through the Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund, but homeowners who have tried to access the money haven’t gotten the help they need. And now they need to re-register if they hope to get help anytime in the near future.

That’s because the fund has a huge backlog of applications right now. People started applying in February 2022 but many have been stuck in line since then. The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) is in charge of the mortgage relief money and says it has a current backlog of 11,000 homeowner applications.

The fund is part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and originally provided the commonwealth with $350 million. There is about $169 million still in the fund.

The money is designated for mortgage assistance of up to $50,000 and to pay utility bills, property taxes, and other housing expenses. To be eligible for assistance, the homeowner must own and occupy the home in question, have suffered a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is at least 30 days past due on their mortgage, and meets income requirements.

“When we opened this program, there were thousands and thousands and thousands of homeowners that were struggling because of COVID and it overwhelmed the system,” said Bryce Maretzki of PHFA.

PHFA initially hired a third-party vendor to manage the program but ended that contract and paused the program so it could take over operations earlier this year. The agency has made some progress on the backlog, though. From April to July, the agency went from processing 175 applications a month to 800 and disbursing $2 million a month to $8 million, according to Maretzki.

But homeowners who’ve already applied must now re-register to ensure the agency has the correct information on record and can move quickly to get through the backlog.

Homeowners can re-register online or call PHFA at 1-888-978-2423.

Author

  • Ashley Adams

    In her 16 years in the communications industry, Ashley Adams has worn many hats, including news reporter, public relations writer, marketing specialist, copy editor and technical writer. Ashley grew up in Berks County and has since returned to her roots to raise her three children.

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