Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott today announced a new program to support Baltimore City homeowners facing a mortgage crisis.
The Emergency Mortgage and Housing Assistance Program (EMHAP) will assist homeowners in the City of Baltimore who are experiencing economic hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic whose homes are at risk of foreclosure. The Scott administration has earmarked $3 million in CARES Act Funds (CDGV-CV3) from the Community Development Block Grant for this program.
“National studies have shown that one in five people are struggling to make their mortgage payment due to economic hardship caused by the pandemic,” Mayor Scott said. “We have provided housing assistance and eviction prevention support to many people who have lost their income due to COVID-19. Now we are expanding our efforts to support homeowners who have faced similar economic hardship and may be facing foreclosure.
According to a press release from the city:
Assistance will be provided as a grant in the form of a direct payment to the mortgage company and may be applied to overdue mortgage principal and interest and any other overdue charges included in the mortgage payment (including including homeowner’s insurance, property taxes and private mortgage insurance). Homeowners without a mortgage can also receive help with overdue home insurance, property taxes, and water bills. Payments can be applied to arrears for any consecutive six-month period since March 1, 2020.
To be eligible for EMHAP, owners must meet the following guidelines:
- Gross annual household income equal to or less than 80% AMI (priority will be given to applicants below 50% AMI).
- The applicant must occupy the property as their principal residence.
- The applicant must have a mortgage with an overdue balance or, if they do not have a mortgage, home insurance, property taxes or water bills with overdue balances.
The applicant’s household must demonstrate a loss or reduction in income due to COVID-19. “The City is committed to helping homeowners facing economic hardship due to the pandemic. DHCD implements preventive measures and offers resources that meet their needs,” said DHCD Housing Commissioner Alice Kennedy. “We estimate that we will be able to help 300 to 600 households through this program.”
The City of Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will administer the program. The EMHAP application is completely online. Applicants can enter information and upload supporting documents. Designated staff will verify applicant eligibility, obtain W9s from mortgage companies and process spending authorizations to issue payments. Interested candidates should visit HERE for more information and to apply. The program will end once all funds have been committed.