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Florida Homeowner Assistance Fund

Established as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) was implemented to mitigate financial hardships associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal is to help homeowners address issues with mortgage delinquencies and defaults that can lead to foreclosure and household displacement. It can also provide funding to address the loss of utilities or energy services and insurance.

We spoke with Sandra Tobon, Director of Housing Counseling & Community Outreach at Consolidated Credit, to give us her expert opinion on Florida’s Homeowner Assistance Fund and what to do if you can’t afford your loan.

“If you are behind on your mortgage, the first thing that you need to do is contact the lender. That is something that you need to do on a monthly basis.”

Sandra tobon, Consolidated credit director of housing and community outreach

This guide can help you learn more about Florida’s Homeowner Assistance Fund, with a helpful link to the application below if you need to apply. If you have questions about the HAF or would like assistance before you apply, please call 1-800-435-2261 to speak with a HUD-certified housing counselor.   

Florida’s share of a federal homeowner assistance fund pie

Even though the American Rescue Plan Act is a federal law, the federal government does not distribute the funds directly to struggling homeowners. Instead, the U.S. Treasury distributed the $9.961 billion promised by Congress to states, territories, and tribes. So, there are different HAF programs depending on where you live.

Florida has been allocated $676.1 million dollars in financial assistance. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) is the state agency overseeing the program.

“The lenders aren’t going to lose money. They’re going to say, okay, I understand you’re going through a rough period of time right now. Let me put that $10,000, $12,000 that you owe us now at the end of the loan.”

Sandra tobon, Consolidated credit director of housing and community outreach

Am I eligible for the Florida Homeowner Assistance Fund?

To be eligible, homeowners can qualify if:

  • They own a one to four-unit dwelling that serves as their primary residence
  • They’ve experienced financial hardship after January 21, 2020 (including hardships that began before January 21 but continued thereafter).
  • They have incomes that are less than or equal to 150% of the area’s median income or 100% of the median income in the United States, whichever is greater.

With an estimated 7.7 million homeowners in Florida, the DEO has said the approach to the distribution of HAF financial assistance will be focused on helping homeowners become current on their mortgages. The DEO plans will analyze publicly available data on median income levels and socio-economic demographics throughout Florida. That will help them focus on prioritizing HAF resources to those meeting the income requirements and Socially Disadvantaged Individuals*.

How do I apply for the Florida Homeowner Assistance Fund?

If you are a Florida homeowner that is struggling to make your payments and are facing housing insecurity, please follow the link below.

https://deosera.force.com/floridahaf/s/registration

How can a housing counselor help me with the Florida HAF?

If you have any questions regarding the registration and applying correctly, or want more information about the program itself, please call Consolidated Credit at 1-800-435-2261 to speak with a HUD-certified counselor. Our housing counseling is a free service designed to help homeowners make informed decisions about their homes.

“Take advantage of all the help we can offer. If you haven’t received any notice yet from the HAF program that we have out there, keep contacting the lender, and let them know that you’re waiting on it.”

Sandra tobon, Consolidated credit director of housing and community outreach

It’s important to keep in mind that while these funds are available to help struggling homeowners, you need to complete your application quickly and correctly. A housing counselor can help you ensure you have all the answers and documentation you need to ensure your application can be processed and approved without delays.

And, if you are a homeowner who is having trouble with your mortgage and cannot qualify for the Florida Homeowners Assistance Fund, our housing counseling team can still help you. We provide housing stability counseling free of charge that can help you explore other options to avoid foreclosure. You can click on the link to learn more or call 1-800-435-2261 for more information.  

*As defined by the Treasury Guidance, “Socially Disadvantaged Individual” means an individual who (i) identifies as Black American, Hispanic American, Asian American, or Native American. (ii) has limited English proficiency (iii) is a resident of a majority-minority Census tract or (iv) lives in a persistent-poverty county