SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A statewide mortgage relief program announced Tuesday that they are expanding their eligibility. It started during the pandemic to help Californians who were falling behind on payments.
About 140,000 families meet the new criteria to apply for the programs. However, it’s on a first come, first serve basis.
“Unstable housing is the enemy,” said Executive Director of the California Housing Finance Agency Tiena Johnson Hall.
The program has been providing grants up to $80,000 to homeowners throughout the state. It's money they don’t have to pay back.
The program handed out $68 million to homeowners who missed their mortgage payments in 2021.Tuesday, Johnson Hall announced people who fell behind by two months in 2022 can now apply.
“While many of us might feel like we're finally seeing the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, the residual impacts are still very much with us,” said Shari L. Freidenrich, with the Association of County Treasurers and Tax Collectors.
The program adjusted the income threshold to qualify as well. Homeowners are now eligible for assistance from the program if their household income is at or below 150% of their county’s Area Median Income. The adjustment will make it so more California homeowners who experienced financial hardships during COVID-19 can get help.
“Secondly, we are announcing another way to help California homeowners through property tax assistance," Rebecca Franklin with the Homeowners Research Corporation said. "This is geared to homeowners who may not have a mortgage… but (are) behind on their property tax.”
They say this new program will especially help seniors. Applicants can qualify for up to $20,000 in property tax relief.
“We have projected about 50,000 households through the property tax program,” Franklin said.
Qualification based on income varies city by city. You can find a calculator based on where you live at camortgagerelief.org.