Housing Counseling Assistance is Now
Available to Help with Unmet Needs
Weekly Update for the Homeowner Assistance
Fund, Week of November 14 – November 18
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) today announced the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) program has reached a major milestone, awarding more than $518 million to 26,508 most vulnerable Florida homeowners. Keeping Floridians in their homes is a top priority and Florida’s progress with the HAF initiative far exceeds states like California and Texas combined. While we continue to prioritize the neediest HAF applicants, Florida is approaching the funding limit of our HAF allocation and DEO is closing out the application process. DEO will continue to award the limited, remaining funding of the program to expedite relief to the state’s most vulnerable homeowners.
Earlier this week, a direct communication was sent to Florida homeowners who applied for the program notifying applicants that they must submit missing information/documentation to finalize their application by today, November 18, 2022. DEO stopped accepting new applications for the HAF program on August 26, almost three months ago. In order to review all existing applications and award remaining funds, the program must close out application submissions. DEO will render a final review of the need for completed applications that are still in hand and will make those awards. It is important to note that completing an application does not guarantee funding. HAF applications are reviewed and ultimately awarded based on the greatest need.Florida HAF program applicants can expect to be notified about the status of their application once it has been reviewed.
For homeowners who do not receive funding through the HAF program , Housing Counseling Assistance is available to provide guidance with loss mitigation, prevention of foreclosure and disruption of utilities, and financial literacy. For Florida homeowners with unmet needs, these services will be provided through a statewide network of providers certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Floridians who have submitted a registration or application for Florida’s HAF program do not need to take further action to participate in this portion of the program. A housing counselor contact you directly for assistance.
“Floridians have received more assistance and faster assistance than homeowners in any other state in the nation as a result of DEO’s prioritization of Florida homeowners and the effective, expedited administration of Florida’s HAF program – awarding more than California, Texas, New York, and Pennsylvania combined,” said DEO Secretary Dane Eagle. “Until all of the remaining funds are expended, DEO’s HAF program will continue to do what it has always done: award relief to the state’s most vulnerable homeowners expeditiously.”
Homeowners who may be eligible for housing counseling and education services but have not registered or applied for Florida’s HAF program, may contact the Homeowner Assistance Fund Customer Assistance Center at 833-987-8997 for a referral to a housing counselor. The Customer Assistance Center hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Additional resources are available to assist eligible homeowners. Local Community Action Agencies may be able to assist eligible individuals with utility bills and other homeowner expenses through:
- Community Services Block Grant (Community Action Agencies)
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program
- Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program
Assistance may also be available through the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) program, which provides funds to local governments as an incentive to create partnerships that produce and preserve affordable homeownership and multifamily housing. Find a local SHIP Office near you.
PREVIOUS PROGRAM UPDATES
- On February 9, 2022, DEO received approval of the state of Florida’s Homeowner Assistance Fund Needs Assessment and Plan from the United States Department of the Treasury (U.S. Treasury) to implement the state’s HAF program for eligible homeowners. The Needs Assessment and Plan was submitted to the U.S. Treasury on August 20, 2021.
- Prior to the approval of the state’s HAF Needs Assessment and Plan, DEO began utilizing 10 percent of the allocated funding to launch the Homeowner Assistance Fund Pilot Program in November 2021, in accordance with U.S. Treasury guidance. The state of Florida was one of 12 states to proactively launch a HAF Pilot Program while waiting for the U.S. Treasury to approve its Needs Assessment and Plan.
- On February 28, 2022, DEO initiated Phase 2 of the HAF program by opening registration for prospective applicants. Applicants determined eligible through the registration process are currently receiving unique application links by email to apply for up to $50,000 in assistance.
- On June 24, 2022, DEO reached a key milestone – awarding more than $100 million to assist Florida’s vulnerable homeowners.
- On July 22, 2022, DEO announced more than $213 million in relief has been awarded to Floridians through the state’s Homeowner Assistance Fund.
- On July 30, 2022, DEO closed program registration to assist homeowners who have already completed their registration or are currently applying for assistance through the program.
- On August 26, 2022, DEO closed the program application to assist homeowners who have applied for assistance through the program.
- On September 27, 2022, DEO closed the in-person Customer Assistance Centers.
Florida’s Homeowner Assistance Fund is designed to mitigate financial hardships associated with the COVID-19 pandemic by preventing homeowners’ mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures, and displacements, as well as by providing assistance with home energy services, internet, property and/or flood insurance, property taxes, and homeowner or condominium association fees. Eligible Florida homeowners may receive up to $50,000 in assistance.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity combines the state’s economic, workforce, and community development efforts, expediting economic development projects to fuel job creation in competitive communities and promote economic resiliency. For more information, including valuable resources for employers and job seekers, please visit www.FloridaJobs.org.