FloridaCommerce Press Releases

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Highlights $20 Million in Housing Counseling Services Now Available to Florida Homeowners

Dec 16, 2022

Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) is announcing the next steps for the Florida Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) program, encouraging Florida homeowners to utilize the newly available housing counseling services available through the HAF program. Housing counseling services include assistance with budgeting, financial planning, and advice on home purchases and credit issues.

“With Florida’s HAF program soon becoming the nation’s first HAF program to fully award direct housing assistance to the most needy homeowners, DEO is encouraging homeowners still in need to consider the Florida HAF program’s newly launched housing counseling program, which will help to keep Floridians in their homes by connecting them with invaluable resources to manage their housing expenses,” said DEO Secretary Dane Eagle . “Housing counseling will empower Floridians to make sound financial choices and become self-sufficient, and I encourage eligible homeowners to take advantage of this valuable resource. Southwest Florida homeowners impacted by Hurricane Ian are especially encouraged to utilize housing counseling services to support their financial recovery following the storm.”

Florida’s HAF program is a model for the nation, providing the state’s most vulnerable homeowners with better, faster assistance than any other state. $540 million has been awarded through Florida’s HAF program to help keep Floridians in their homes, representing assistance to more than 28,000 Florida homeowners and more than 300 active foreclosures prevented. According to publicly available data, Florida’s HAF program has awarded more in assistance than California, Texas, and New York combined.

Housing counseling services are offered by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-certified counselors who will assist homeowners in working with their mortgage servicers to prevent foreclosures and remain in their homes. Examples of services include assistance with budgeting and financial planning, and advice on home purchases, defaults, and credit issues. Counselors will also host individual and group educational workshops on topics including financial literacy and the importance of good credit.
Homeowners who have applied for or received assistance through the Homeowner Assistance Fund as well as non-applicants are eligible to receive housing counseling services. Homeowners are not required to apply for assistance through the HAF program to request counseling.

Homeowners interested in counseling services may request to be contacted by a HUD-certified housing counselor here , call the Homeowner Assistance Fund Customer Assistance Center at 833-987-8997, Monday – Thursday; 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Friday; 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.; and Saturday; 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. (Eastern Time), or email HomeownerAssistanceFund@deo.myflorida.com.

To learn more about additional resources, contact the Homeowner Assistance Fund Customer Assistance Center or visit www.FLHomeownerAssistance.org.


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