Three state government-managed programs aimed at helping Floridians who are behind on their mortgage payments will end on January 31.
- Applications for HHF programs ending must be submitted by end of January
- As of Dec. 31, 2017, 48,584 families receiving assistance through HHF funds
- For more information: www.flhardesthithelp.org
The Florida Housing Finance Corporation says it will close three Florida Hardest-Hit Fund (HHF) programs. Applications for the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program, Mortgage Loan Reinstatement Program, and Principal Reduction Program must be completed on or before the end of January.
The Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program (UMAP), provides up to 12 months of payments (with a cap of $24,000) to assist homeowners who are unemployed, underemployed or have suffered a financial hardship due to death, divorce or disability. As of Dec. 2017, 19,432 Floridians utilized the program.
The Mortgage Loan Reinstatement Program (MLRP), provides up to $25,000 assistance to reinstate a delinquent mortgage. The Principal Reduction Program (PR) provides up to a $50,000 principal reduction for homeowners who are underwater on their mortgage.
“Although these programs were originally scheduled to end in 2020, we are able to distribute these funds well ahead of schedule,” said Trey Price, Executive Dir. for Florida Housing.
One family's story
As of December 31, 2017, Florida Housing reported 48,584 Florida families receiving assistance through the Hardest Hit Programs.
Mildred Holton of Lakeland is one of those Floridians receiving aid. After the death of her husband, Holton was left struggling to make her mortgage payments.
"I was struggling," Holton said. "I mean, really struggling."
In 2016, things got much worse after her children moved out of the home. She fell over a year behind on her payments, and her health declined at the same time.
Unable to work after two hip replacements, she desperately looked for help, and one day it came in the mail from Florida's Hardest Hit Fund.
"This came out of nowhere," Holton said. "My approval letter came it said in June, but it came in May. I was just jumping up and down. You should’ve seen me."
The fund approved Holton to receive nearly $15,000 in the form of a loan to cover back mortgage payments, as well as cover mortgage payments for one year going forward. The zero-interest, deferred-payment loan will be forgiven as long as Holton stays in the home for five and a half years.
“It was just, it’s a gift," Holton said. "And I hope more people can benefit from it. I certainly have and I’m just grateful for it.”
The US Department of Treasury allocated $1.135 billion to Florida’s Hardest Hit Fund in 2010 in order to help the state resolve its housing crisis. Florida Housing has released 92.19 percent of those funds to Floridian homeowners.
For more information, head to www.flhardesthithelp.org or www.principalreductionflhhf.org.
The Tampa Bay Community Development Corporation is assisting people fill out applications. Call 727-442-7075 for more information.