Low- to middle-income Arizona homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage bills can now get help after an infusion of $197 million in new federal pandemic relief funding to the state’s Homeowner Assistance Fund.
The funding is for Arizona homeowners who experienced financial hardship, such as loss of income or increased health-care costs, related to the COVID-19 pandemic after Jan. 21, 2020, according to the Arizona Department of Housing.
The assistance is intended to prevent foreclosure, but recipients can also use the money to help with household expenses like utility, insurance and association bills.
Eligibility is limited to homeowners whose gross annual household income is 150% or less of the area’s median income, and it is only available for an applicant’s primary residence.
Income limits for Pima County residents range from $72,094 for a single homeowner to $102,938 for a four-member household.
An income eligibility calculator by county and other program information are available on the Housing Department’s website at haf.azhousing.gov.
State Housing Department Director Tom Simplot noted the aid payments are sent immediately upon qualification directly to a homeowner’s loan servicer.
“This program is a true difference-maker for vulnerable homeowners in Arizona who’ve been hit hard by COVID — it gives hope,” Simplot said. “If you’re battling to stay in your home, I urge you to check your eligibility and apply today so we can help keep you in it.”
The program can provide maximum assistance of up to $3,500 monthly for mortgage and utility payments combined. Homeowners can get aid as long as needed, up to $25,000 per household, with mortgage payments given first payment priority.