Announcement

The program is now accepting applications. To apply, click here.

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Overview

What is the Homeowner Assistance Fund?

The Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Fund is a federally funded mortgage relief program to provide financial assistance to Louisiana homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage due to the financial impacts related to COVID-19. The program, which is run by the Louisiana Office of Community Development and funded by the U.S. Dept. of Treasury offers up to $25,000 in financial relief per homeowner. The program is free to participate and completely voluntary.

How does the program work?

Louisiana homeowners in need of mortgage assistance will apply to the program. If the application is approved, the program will transfer allocated funding directly to your respective mortgage servicer.

How long will the program be accepting applications / Is there a deadline to submit my application?

The program will continue to distribute funding on a rolling basis until all available funds have been exhausted.

Are there other resources available for people financially affected by the pandemic?

If you need advice, find a HUD-approved housing counselor near you:

If you need a lawyer or legal assistance, there are tips for finding a lawyer from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau as well as legal resources in Louisiana. If you’re a servicemember, you should consult with your local JAG Legal Assistance Office

  • American Bar Association’s Legal Help: FindLegalHelp.org

  • Legal Services Corporation: www.lsc.gov

  • For more information regarding federal financial programming in response to COVID-19, please visit:

  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: COVID Housing Assistance: consumerfinance.gov

  • National Consumer Law Center: COVID Mortgage Relief Resources: library.nclc.org

Eligibility

Who is eligible for the program?

Eligible homeowners must:

  • Own and occupy a home in Louisiana as their primary residence

  • Meet income qualifications

  • Have experienced a financial hardship associated with the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Loan must be delinquent and/or in forbearance or foreclosure

Does my mortgage provider/servicer have to participate for me to be eligible?

It is extremely helpful and efficient for your mortgage servicer to sign the Mortgage Servicer Participation Agreement, though it is not required. This agreement allows the Program to collaborate directly with mortgage servicers on your behalf to be able to share information and ensure accuracy of past-due amounts and make electronic payments. The Program in some cases may be able to issue payment based off of mortgage statements, but the preferred methodology is for direct engagement between the Program and mortgage servicers.

How do I know if my home is eligible?

Eligible properties include:

  • Single-family (attached or detached)

  • Condominium units

  • 1 to 4-unit properties where the homeowner is living in one of the units as their primary residence

  • Manufactured homes permanently affixed to real property and taxed as real estate

  • Mobile homes not permanently affixed to real property

What if the property I am applying for is not titled to my name?

The applicant and/or co-applicant must be the owner of record for the property to be considered eligible for program assistance.

How is household income defined and verified for this program?

Applicants for the Homeowner Assistance Fund should have a total household income less than or equal to 150% area median income (AMI) or 100% of the median income for the United States, whichever is greater, as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The program application team will be able to work with you to make sure that you meet the income eligibility requirements for the program. To see the income limits specific to HAF, please visit https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/haf-il.html.

Are renters or tenants eligible to receive financial assistance from this program?

There is a separate federal program for renters and landlords. The Louisiana Emergency Rental Assistance Program provides assistance to renters with past-due and forward rental payments, as well as utility payments. Please visit erap.lacovidhousing.com for more information.

Does my financial hardship have to be related to COVID-19?

Eligible homeowners must have experienced financial hardships due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic after January 21, 2020. This includes hardships that may have begun prior to January 21, 2020 but continued on past this date. During the application process, you will have the opportunity to explain your hardship.

My mortgage delinquencies started prior to January 21, 2020. Am I still eligible?

Yes, as long as your hardship continued after January 21, 2020, you are eligible for the program.

Does it matter how far behind I am on my mortgage?

The funding cap for the Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Fund is $25,000 per eligible homeowner. If your delinquency amount is greater than the program cap, your mortgage servicer will need to agree to a loan modification or loss mitigation plan; for example, moving the other outstanding portion of the unpaid balance to the back end of the mortgage. Specific modification options will need to be coordinated with your respective servicer. If you are unable to reinstate the shortfall or come to a loss mitigation agreement with your lender, you are not eligible for program assistance at this time.

If I have received a partial claim or deferment on my loan previously, can I still apply for this assistance if I am delinquent?

Yes, you could still qualify for program assistance if your delinquency is due to a qualified hardship resulting from COVID-19.

If I am not delinquent on my mortgage, am I still possibly eligible for assistance?

If you are not delinquent on your mortgage, you may still be eligible for up to three future, monthly payments through the program if:

  • You are currently receiving unemployment insurance benefits,

  • You received unemployment benefits at least 3 weeks per quarter for the current year of more than 12 weeks of the prior year, or

  • You have experienced any involuntary household member changes

This funding will be remitted to your lender to be posted to your account.

Application Process

How do I apply?

The application is available online through the application portal here. If you are unable to fill out the online application or do not have access to the application, please call our program call center at 833-88-LAHAF (833-885-2423), open Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. One of our representatives will be able to work with you on completing the application via phone. For more information on how to apply, visit the apply page.

What supporting documents are required?

Upon application submission, you will be asked to submit a copy of your photo ID. Supporting documents may be requested as part of your application The Louisiana Office of Community Development has partnered with other state agencies to verify applicant information in order to reduce the number of documents requested during the application process. However, if third-party verification cannot be obtained, the program may request mortgage statements, pay stubs, wage statements such as a W-2 form, IRS Form 109ss, tax filings along with personal identification.

What is the application process?

Homeowners seeking assistance will be able to apply on haf.lacovidhousing.com. To begin the application process, you will answer a brief set of pre-screening questions and then be able to register and begin the application through the self-service portal. After submitting your application and supporting documentation, you will be able to revisit the portal for status updates.

Please visit the Resources page for applicant user guide and guidelines.

What do I do if my application has been withdrawn?

Applications are withdrawn due to inactivity after 14 days. If your application is withdrawn, please do not create a new application, as this will cause significant processing delays. To reinstate your application, call the program call center at 833-885-2423, open 8 am – 5 pm, Monday through Friday, and a program representative will be able to assist you with reinstating your application and let you know what further information is needed to continue the eligibility review process.

Funding and Payment

Is this assistance an issued loan that requires repayment?

No, funds will be transferred directly to your mortgage servicer and will require no repayment except in cases of fraud or wrongful misrepresentation.

How is the program funded?

The program is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (H.R. 1319) which provides $9.961 billion in federal relief for vulnerable homeowners. Louisiana will receive an allocated $146.7 million in funding to provide up to $25,000 per eligible homeowner.

How will the program funds be distributed?

Program funding will be distributed equitably to eligible homeowners throughout the state of Louisiana, with those with the most immediate needs receiving priority. Those with immediate needs include lower-income homeowners and socially disadvantaged individuals, per the U.S. Dept. of Treasury program guidelines.

What does this program pay for?

The Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Fund will provide:

  • Funding to help a homeowner reinstate a mortgage or to pay other housing related costs from a period of forbearance, delinquency, or default

  • Mortgage payment assistance

  • Homeowner’s insurance, homeowner association fees, flood insurance and mortgage insurance, if escrowed.

Do I receive the funding directly?

No, financial relief will be sent directly to your mortgage servicer.

Further questions? Please email [email protected] or call 833-88-LAHAF.