Mayor enacts emergency mortgage relief program for Baltimore homeowners

Mayor Brandon M. Scott announced a new program Thursday to support Baltimore homeowners facing a mortgage crisis.

The Emergency Mortgage and Housing Assistance Program (EMHAP) will help Baltimore homeowners 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.

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 have an annual gross household income of 80% AMI or less (priority will be given to applicants below 50% AMI), occupy the property as their primary residence, and have a mortgage with an overdue balance or, if the applicant does not have a mortgage, home insurance, property taxes or water bills with overdue balances.

The City of Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will administer the program. The EMHAP application is entirely 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.