DEO Press Releases

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Awards More than $6.2 Million to Florida’s Most Vulnerable Homeowners

May 06, 2022



~ Weekly Update for the Homeowner Assistance Fund, Week of May 2-6 ~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced that it has awarded more than $6.2 million in total relief for the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF), with $5.1 million awarded this week alone, to some of Florida’s most vulnerable homeowners through the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF). This federal program administered by DEO 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. The award of $6.2 million has been submitted by DEO to lenders and servicers to be credited to applicant accounts.

“The team at DEO has been working tirelessly on an expedited timeline to get relief to our most vulnerable homeowners as quickly as possible, despite the delayed federal approval of the application for the HAF program,” said DEO Secretary Dane Eagle. “To date, DEO has awarded more than $6.2 million in relief to 386 Florida homeowners, which will be credited to accounts for applicants’ mortgages and other homeowner expenses, including utility bills. We are working in collaboration with more than 100 lenders and servicers and are encouraging eligible Floridians to register as soon as possible to receive an application to apply for up to $50,000 in relief. We look forward to awarding the remaining funds to eligible homeowners as quickly as possible.”

PROGRAM UPDATES WEEK OF MAY 2-6

In accordance with U.S. Treasury guidance, DEO has prioritized Florida’s most vulnerable homeowners and is inviting homeowners in Tier 1 to apply for assistance. DEO will invite homeowners in Tier 2 to apply after homeowners in Tier 1 have received assistance, pending the availability of funding. DEO continues to process Florida’s HAF program applications and registrations as quickly as possible.

Applications

  • A total of 386 homeowner applications have been approved by DEO, representing more than $6.2 in awards to date.
    • 5,170 applications have been started by homeowners but have not been submitted. 
    • 4,644 applications have been submitted to DEO by homeowners.

Registrations

  • 24,730 eligible registrations have been submitted.
    • 22,190 registrations are Tier 1, and all have been invited to apply for relief.
    • 2,540 registrations are Tier 2.

Additionally, DEO kicked off its pilot partnership with the faith-based community for the state’s first Community Assistance Center (CAC) at New Covenant Baptist Church in Orlando. The church is open for assistance to local homeowners in need Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Additional in-person locations will be opened across the state in the near future; however, any interested Florida homeowner has the ability to complete the registration process online at www.FLHomeownerAssistance.org



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. DEO has provided more than $1.1 million to 222 homeowners through the Pilot Program.
  • 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.


HOW TO PARTICIPATE

  • Florida homeowners who have been impacted by the pandemic and believe they may be eligible to receive relief through the HAF program are encouraged to register to participate in the program. Potential applicants can complete the registration process by visiting www.FLHomeownerAssistance.org.
  • Registration assists DEO in determining the eligibility and prioritization of prospective applicants for the program.
  • After registrants are determined eligible, they receive an invitation to apply for assistance through the HAF program and are encouraged to apply for all types of assistance available through the HAF program.


RESOURCES FOR APPLICANTS

The Homeowner Assistance Fund Customer Assistance Center (833-987-8997) is available Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Eastern Time), for all inquiries and questions. Additional resources listed below are available at www.FLHomeownerAssistance.org:


ABOUT HAF
The Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) 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

ABOUT DEO

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.

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