If you're a homeowner who has been struggling through the pandemic, you're not alone.
The pandemic revealed just how vulnerable a lot of Americans are when it comes to their finances. According to mba.org, in the second quarter of 2020,
The mortgage delinquency rate peaked at 8.22 percent
That rate did decrease again in 2021 to 6.38 percent. Still, that's a lot of people struggling with their mortgages. Something that, in Michigan at least, will be helped with the new Michigan Homeowner Assistance Fund.
What is the MIHAF?
The MIHAF is a program aimed at helping Michigan homeowners experiencing financial hardships.
In April of 2021, the U.S. Treasury Department allocated $242,812,277 to the state of Michigan. That specific number was, according to michigan.gov,
based on unemployed individuals and the number of mortgagors with delinquent mortgage payments
Governor Whitmer then designated the Michigan State Housing Development Authority to use those funds for the Michigan Homeowner Assistance Fund.
Am I Eligible?
Eligibility requirements for the MIHAF are as follows:
- homeowners must be occupying the property in question as their permanent residence
- household incomes must be less than 150% of the Area Median Income
- homeowners must prove their financial hardships are directly related to Covid-19 on or after January 21, 2020
The grants equal $25,000 per household and must be used to pay things like delinquent property taxes, delinquent homeowner's insurance, delinquent mortgage or housing expenses, and more. See the full list here.
Okay. I meet the Eligibility Requirements. What Now?
Now, it's time to apply.
Homeowners can apply for the MIHAF online here. There is a list of documents that you'll need to have ready. That includes things like a social security card, monthly income statements, and proof of bankruptcy or delinquency. You can see the full list of acceptable documents here.
There's more information about prioritization, how to check the status of your application, and more at michigan.gov.
I'm a Service/Lending Provider. How Do I Become a Partner?
Are you a mortgage company? A utility provider? Landowner? You could become a partner with the MIHAF. There is, of course, a long list of agreements you'll have to look over and sign. See the full list here.
It has felt like a very long two years. I can only imagine the added stress of trying to keep your home while navigating through unprecedented times. But, hope is on the horizon.
As far as deadlines for applying for the MIHAF, there doesn't seem to be one listed currently. Of course, things can change. Stay up to date on michigan.gov or by following the Michigan State Housing Development Authority's Facebook page.