Florida HAF Leads the Nation, Modifies Forward Payment Assistance to Assist More Florida Homeowners

Aug 19, 2022

Last Day to Complete and Submit an Application for the
Homeowner Assistance Fund is August 26

~ Weekly Update for the Homeowner Assistance Fund,
Week of August 15 - August 19 ~




TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced it will assist more of the state's most vulnerable homeowners through its Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) by modifying forward payment assistance offered through the program to a maximum of six months.


Florida has taken a nation leading approach to providing financial support through the HAF program, already halfway complete with more than $328 million awarded to date – more than any other state in the nation. Due to the success of Florida’s aggressive outreach for the program, forward looking payments for new applications and those still pending must be limited in order to maximize the number of Floridians with existing debts that can be served. As such, all future forward looking payments will be limited to 6 months, rather than the current 18. This announcement has no impact on applicants already approved for payments and has no impact on other types of assistance.


DEO also announced that it will close the HAF application as Florida reaches more than $328 million awarded and leads the nation in awarding relief to more than 11,700 homeowners, with more than $24 million awarded this week alone. For Florida homeowners who registered before the previous deadline and were invited to apply, the last day to complete and submit their application through the Florida HAF program is Friday, August 26


 "Our goal with these modifications is to ensure we can maximize our serving those Floridians who are somewhere in the application process now or have applied by the end of this week, because ultimately we want to ensure the greatest immediate needs for as many in need Floridians as possible," said DEO Secretary Dane Eagle. "We know that stretching these funds out to more Floridians means more Floridians get help securing their home and ultimately their financial and family stability. I encourage all homeowners who have been invited to apply to complete and submit their applications for relief before the deadline on August 26."


Homeowners who have been invited to apply are encouraged to complete and submit their applications as soon as possible for the best opportunity to receive funding through the HAF program. 


While it is great news that Florida will spend all the available funds and maximize the number of Floridians served, this also means we may not be able to serve every applicant. For Florida homeowners with unmet needs, other resources are available to assist eligible individuals with utility bills and other homeowner expenses through the Community Services Block Grant, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program.



RESOURCES FOR APPLICANTS

For homeowners needing assistance in completing their applications, 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 are available at www.FLHomeownerAssistance.org.


CUSTOMER ASSISTANCE CENTER LOCATIONS

Florida homeowners who need assistance to complete their Florida HAF program applications can continue to receive help at one of the eight in-person Customer Assistance Centers. At a Customer Assistance Center, homeowners may: 

  • Upload documentation necessary to complete an application.
  • Complete and submit an application for relief through the Homeowner Assistance Fund.
  • Receive an update on the status of a submitted application. 

PROGRAM UPDATES FOR THE WEEK OF AUGUST 15 - AUGUST 19


Applications

  • A total of 11,740 homeowner applications have been approved by DEO, representing more than $328 million in awards to date.
    • 20,849 homeowners have been invited to apply but have not started their applications.
    • 16,562 applications have been started by homeowners but have not been submitted.
    • 22,799 applications have been submitted to DEO by homeowners.

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 will close the program application to assist homeowners who have applied for assistance through the program.


ABOUT HAF


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.

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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