The DC Housing Finance Agency recently announced the reopening of its HomeSaver foreclosure prevention program — funded by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Hardest-Hit Fund — which can provide substantial mortgage assistance to distressed homeowners under limited circumstances. The program focuses on homeowners who are actively receiving unemployment benefits, newly re-employed homeowners who have received unemployment benefits within the last six months, and homeowners who have experienced an involuntary reduction in income of 25 percent or more.
The HomeSaver program, described in more detail in yesterday’s article in The Washington Post and at https://www.homesaverdc.org/, can provide assistance in the form of a lump sum payment to cure mortgage arrears and keep District residents in their homes. The renewed availability of foreclosure prevention funds comes at a particularly critical time, as the flagship Home Affordable Modification Program is scheduled to sunset at the end of this year. However, the current parameters of the HomeSaver program are so limiting that it is unlikely to benefit the vast majority of District homeowners in need – including homeowners who have experienced longer periods of unemployment, homeowners who need to be able to pay down a portion of their arrears in order to qualify for loan modification, and homeowners facing foreclosure due to condominium fee arrears. Advocates are already in communication with DCHFA about these issues and will continue to push for changes to the program eligibility requirements to better reflect the needs of District homeowners and to increase the reach of the program.