Single-Family Excellence Award Winner:
HomeSaver/Hardest Hit Fund Initiative – District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency
In 2011, the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency (HFA) announced the availability of over $20 million in foreclosure prevention assistance for unemployed and underemployed District residents struggling to pay their mortgages. The HomeSaver Program is a part of the U.S. Treasury's Hardest-Hit Initiative to assist states with above average unemployment.
"The District welcomes this generous initiative that gives homeowners a chance to stay in their homes, while avoiding foreclosure. The Hardest-Hit Fund Initiative offers our residents an opportunity to withstand the effects of a down economy by providing relief to the unemployed," said Executive Director Harry D. Sewell. Director Sewell further states that through this partnership with the Obama Administration, the District of Columbia Hardest-Hit Fund will keep District families out of foreclosure while adding stability to the housing market.
HFA and its partners developed a comprehensive, citywide strategy that is most beneficial to District homeowners. The plan aims to assist up to 1,000 unemployed District homeowners who are experiencing unemployment and are at-risk of foreclosure. Available program components will include: Lifeline Payment Assistance, Mortgage Payment Assistance, and Restore Payment Assistance.
- Lifeline Payment Assistance – one-time payment of up to three (3) months mortgage delinquency (PITIA);
- Mortgage Payment Assistance – up to fifteen (15) months of mortgage payment assistance equal to 100% of the mortgage payment (PITIA);
- Restore Payment Assistance – one-time payment of up to six (6) months of delinquency to "catch-up" mortgage payments. Borrower has been recently re-employed and has sufficient resources to continue making timely mortgage payments.
As of March 7, 2013, over 1100 homeowners applied for the program and the HFA has an 86% approval rate. In addition, more than 50% of the program funds were committed to assist District homeowners, over $10 million. Working with the five approved housing counseling agencies and many public/private partners, the HFA will continue to promote the HomeSaver Program and we all forward to program's continued success.