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Waters Applauds California’s Use of Federal Homeowner Assistance Fund for the California Mortgage Relief Program

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, released a statement regarding the launch of the largest mortgage relief program in the country, the California Mortgage Relief Program, which will help tens of thousands of California homeowners avoid foreclosure. Chairwoman Waters and the Committee on Financial Services worked tirelessly to secure $10 billion in funding for the nationwide Homeowner Assistance Fund in March 2021.

“I am pleased that California has led the way in requesting federal funds to establish the California Mortgage Relief Program, one of the first states in the country to utilize federal funds to launch a Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) program. As Chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee, immediately after the national emergency related to COVID, I introduced legislation that included the creation of a $10 billion HAF as I recognized that the COVID forbearance relief that was provided through the CARES Act in March 2020 would be insufficient to help those who continued to experience unemployment and other significant financial hardships once relief measures ended. Under the Biden Administration and a Democrat-controlled Congress, my Committee was able to act swiftly to fully fund HAF at $10 billion through the American Rescue Plan.

“As the largest HAF program in the country, California’s Mortgage Relief Program, managed by the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA), will distribute over $1 billion from federal funds to assist California homeowners who are facing financial hardships during the pandemic. In particular, I am pleased that the program will help eligible homeowners fully reinstate their mortgages by covering all missed payments—helping tens of thousands of Californians avoid foreclosure and homelessness. 

“While federal funds used in California’s Mortgage Relief Program and other HAF programs across the country will help save homeowners from losing their homes, we know that longer-term solutions will be needed in the face of an ongoing pandemic. This is why I continue to fight tirelessly to pass the Build Back Better Act and to ensure that affordable housing remains a central pillar of the package. The Build Back Better Act includes over $150 billion to increase our nation’s housing supply, bring down the cost of housing, address homelessness, invest in our communities, and bring the dream of homeownership within reach for millions of mortgage-ready homebuyers, including more than 20 million millennials nationwide.

“I commend Governor Gavin Newsom, Secretary of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency, Lourdes Castro Ramirez, and CalHFA Executive Director, Tiena Johnson Hall for their expeditious launch of the California Mortgage Relief Program and urge homeowners throughout the state to apply for this much-needed assistance today.”

HOW TO APPLY

    

California homeowners should verify their eligibility for the California Mortgage Relief Program and apply online here.

For real-time assistance with California’s online application, homeowners can call 1-888-840-2594.

If homeowners would like in-person assistance to see if they qualify and to fill out their application, they can contact a local HUD-approved housing counseling agency by calling 1-800-569-4287 or looking up an agency online here. Los Angeles legal aid organizations can also be found here.

All assistance provided through CalHFA, HUD-approved housing counseling agencies, and legal aid organizations is free of charge. You can and should report any entity that seeks to charge homeowners for application assistance and find out about other forms of fraud and scams here.

You can find other frequently asked questions regarding the California Mortgage Relief Program here.

Not all state HAF programs are open yet, however, many are opening applications across the country. Homeowners can find the status of their state’s program here.

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