For Pennsylvania homeowners struggling with finances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, relief may be on the way.
Gov. Tom Wolf recently announced the launch of the Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund, which will be run via the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. The application process will open Feb. 1. According to PHFA, the fund supports Pennsylvania homeowners whose household income is at or below 150% of the area median income who are now struggling with additional unexpected financial hardships due to the pandemic. The assistance will go toward preventing and/or easing mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures, displacement and utility disconnection.
To qualify for this assistance, eligible Pennsylvania homeowners must have experienced a reduction of income or increase in living expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic after Jan. 21, 2020 (including a hardship that began before Jan. 21, 2020, but continued after that date). They also must currently own and occupy their home in Pennsylvania as their primary residence. The homeowner can not have already received or applied for assistance for mortgage payment, mortgage reinstatement, property charges and/or utility payment from another federal, state, local, nonprofit or tribal source. In addition, the program has specific income requirements to be eligible.
For homeowners who wish to apply, the entire process may be completed online once available on Feb. 1. For those who need assistance with applications, housing counseling agencies and legal service providers across the state will be available to help via the PHFA site or calling 888-987-2423.