Bowser’s administration offers help to homeowners during pandemic

Neighborhood homeowners who are having trouble paying their mortgages due to financial loss from the coronavirus pandemic have some options to relieve themselves.

“We know that for many DC families, keeping up with their monthly mortgage payments has been a huge struggle in these unprecedented times,” DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said last year.

While the public has paid a lot of attention to the STAY DC program, which uses federal funds to help tenants who have experienced reduced or lost income due to the coronavirus pandemic with their rent and utilities, struggling owners were not very focused. Clifford Beckford, executive director of Lydia’s House in the South East, which helps low-income and at-risk families secure housing, has warned of a possible wave of foreclosures in the coming months as moratorium programs and abstention ends in a virtual DC Board committee hearing on August 31st.

DC MAP Program

In 2020, Bowser and the leaders of the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA) ​​announced the relaunch of the $ 4 million DC Mortgage Assistance Program COVID-19 (DC MAP) to help homeowners who have been economically affected. by the pandemic. . Before the pandemic, the program served as a vehicle to help homeowners who delayed their mortgage payments mainly due to the federal government shutdown in 2018.

Bowser said in 2020 “By reallocating this program to this existing assistance program, we can offer homeowners some peace of mind and help ease some of the financial burden during this public health emergency.”

Christopher E. Donald, executive director of DCHFA, said his agency stresses the importance of “helping the residents of the district maintain their landlord status.”

“DCHFA is committed to helping DC owners survive during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Donald said.

To be eligible for the DC MAP, the DCHFA website states that a borrower’s primary residence must be in the city, must have been up to date on their mortgage as of March 1, 2020, be able to provide documentation on income affected due to the pandemic, the borrower must be the borrower of the home loan and prove that the borrower is not eligible for forbearance or other type of city relief fund. If a borrower meets these conditions, a loan of up to $ 5,000 per month for their mortgage for up to six months will be granted.

The DC MAP loan must be secured by a trust deed and bears no interest.

Further assistance is on the way

DC Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio told The Informer on September 20 that the Bowser administration will unveil a new program to help homeowners with mortgage issues fueled by the pandemic in the near future.

“We submitted a plan to the federal government last month to the tune of $ 50 million to help overdue mortgages due to COVID,” he said. “We encourage owners to use DC MAP until then. There are other ways for homeowners to stay afloat. I know a number of banks have programs to help people during the pandemic by extending forbearance or providing additional assistance. People should contact their mortgage lender to see what they have to offer.

Photo by James Wright

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