Income-eligible homeowners who have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic may be able to receive mortgage relief under a $1 million pilot scheme unveiled Monday by the Department of Finance and Administration of State.
Grants of up to $10,000 will be available to eligible landlords “to maintain housing and reduce housing cost delinquency,” according to a news release.
“The pilot program will run for six months,” the press release said. “Upon completion of the pilot program and acceptance of the submission by the Federal Government, the State of New Mexico, and the MFA [Mortgage Finance Authority] will officially launch a $52 million program.”
New Mexico is the first state in the nation to launch a pilot program specifically for homeowners, said department spokesman Henry Valdez.
“Once we launch the main program, it will include emergency repairs like roofing to help reduce housing displacement and prevent New Mexican homeowners from becoming homeless,” he said Monday. .
The assistance covers past due and outstanding mortgage payments for income-eligible New Mexicans who have experienced financial hardship related to the pandemic, the news release said. The Mortgage Finance Authority will make payments directly to mortgage or loan service providers, escrow companies or other housing providers.
“Many families in New Mexico have faced the possibility of foreclosure over the past year due to financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Isidoro Hernandez, Executive Director and CEO of the Mortgage Finance Authority, in a statement. “The New Mexico Homeowners Assistance Fund will ease these worries for many homeowners and ensure that they and their families can stay in their homes. In combination with the state’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program, these programs will help keep New Mexicans safely housed.
To qualify for the program, household income cannot exceed 100% of the median income for the area. Go to housingnm.org to apply online or call (505) 308-4206 or toll free at (866) 488-0498 to request a paper application.
Follow Daniel J. Chacón on Twitter @danieljchacon.