Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has announced the launch of a statewide Mortgage Relief Program to help people stay in their homes and help ease mortgage delinquencies, defaults, and foreclosures due to the pandemic.
Applications for the program opened on Monday, Jan. 3.
The Mortgage Relief Program is similar to the Virginia Rent Relief Program which has received national recognition for its success. Virginia was one of the first states in the nation to create a statewide rent and mortgage relief program with federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds.
The commonwealth has implemented rent and mortgage relief programs through designated state and federal resources. Combined, these programs have provided more than $519.5 million in 106,621 rent relief payments for more than 76,500 households across Virginia. Families with children represent the majority of households assisted by the program.
“Virginia is taking aggressive steps to help people stay in their homes,” said the governor. “Owning a home is the American dream, and this new program will help keep that dream alive.”
The Commonwealth of Virginia received more than $258 million through the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Homeowners Assistance Fund to support homeowners facing housing instability resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Providing housing stability and supporting Virginia homeowners is of the utmost importance right now as we continue to advance our recovery efforts from the pandemic,” said Virginia Housing Chief Executive Officer Susan F. Dewey. “This program will protect homeowners at risk of losing their homes, thereby strengthening our communities and our economy and improving the lives of many Virginians across the commonwealth. Our mission is to help Virginians attain quality, affordable housing and foster successful homeownership, and this program directly aligns with our goals by providing vital financial support to homeowners during a time of great need.”
Eligible homeowners must have experienced a reduction of income or increase in living expenses after Jan. 21, 2020, and must currently own and occupy the property as their primary residence. Maximum income limits and other eligibility requirements must be met.
Funds from the Virginia Mortgage Relief Program will be distributed directly to mortgage lenders and servicers, contracts for deed holders, county treasurers or local taxing authorities, property insurance companies, and homeowner and condominium associations.
Utility assistance is not an eligible expense under the Virginia Mortgage Relief Program but is available under other state, local, or private sector programs.