What is the Homeowner Assistance Fund Program?
Homeowner Assistance Fund Program (HAF) is a financial assistance program accessed via a digital portal, that serves as a one-stop shop, providing grants to District homeowners impacted by COVID-19 who are struggling with their mortgage payments and other property or housing expenses.
Do I need to pay the funds back?
No. HAF provides grants. Unlike loans, they don’t have to be paid back.
Who can I contact if I have questions?
If you have questions about the Homeowner Assistance Fund Program, call (202) 540-7407 or email [email protected].
How much can I apply for?
Each household can receive up to $120,000. But there are limits for each type of assistance. Please refer to the Program Benefits section for more information.
My family needs housing counseling services. Where can we go?
There are many Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) in the District that offer housing counseling to residents. You may contact a CBO of your choice, and a housing counselor can answer your housing questions. Please refer to the Required Documents & Resources section for a list of CBOs.
My family needs legal services. Where can we go?
Please visit the Required Documents & Resources section for a list of legal service providers.
What is an “attestation”?
An attestation is your confirmation that something is true. For some parts of the HAF application, you will be asked to describe and attest to the nature of your circumstances or financial hardship. Examples are: job loss, lower income, or increased costs due to your own healthcare or the need to care for a family member.
Why am I receiving communication from the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC)?
LEDC is our partner. They’re processing HAF applications and payments for us, which is why you may hear from them.
Will HAF Assistance stop foreclosure proceedings?
The DC foreclosure moratorium has been extended city-wide to June 30, 2022, and for homeowners who applied for federal housing assistance, including HAF, until September 30, 2022.
The Foreclosure Moratorium Extension Emergency Amendment Act of 2022, D.C. Act 24-320, signed by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser on February 3, 2022, prohibits foreclosure of owner-occupied and heir-occupied homes based on unpaid condo fees, property taxes, or mortgages, through June 30, 2022. In addition, this emergency law further extends a foreclosure moratorium to September 30, 2022, for homeowners who have an application for certain government homeowner assistance (including the HAF program) pending approval, pending payment, or under appeal.
Do I qualify for the program?
You may be eligible for the Homeowner Assistance Fund if you meet the following criteria:
- You are a District homeowner
- You have fallen behind on mortgage, property charges or utility/internet payments
- Your household is at or below a certain income limit
- You have experienced a COVID-19 related hardship
- Your loan does not exceed the conforming loan limit a time of origination
For more details related to the eligibility requirements, please visit the Do I Qualify? section.
What is a “financial hardship?”
Financial hardship means a material reduction in income or increase in living expenses associated with the coronavirus pandemic. The hardship has created or increased a risk of mortgage delinquency, mortgage default, foreclosure, loss of utilities or home energy services, or displacement for a homeowner.
Do I have to be in forbearance or loss mitigation with my mortgage company to apply?
No. But you’re encouraged to talk to them about options they offer to get you back on track.
I am an heir to a deceased homeowner. Can I still apply?
Yes. You must provide documentation to show you qualify. See the Required Documents Checklist for details.
What does “Socially Disadvantaged” mean?
Socially disadvantaged individuals belong to a group whose ability to purchase or own a home has been impaired due to diminished access to credit on reasonable terms as compared to others in comparable economic circumstances. The impairment stems from circumstances beyond their control.
I am in bankruptcy. Can I still apply?
Yes, you can still apply for HAF. You may need to coordinate with your bankruptcy attorney and Trustee during the review process.
Are there income requirements for the program?
Yes. The income limits are based on adjusted gross income and household size. For limits, go to the Do I Qualify section.
How do I apply for the program?
You can find more information, see if you qualify, and apply at haf.dc.gov. You’ll create a profile, answer a pre-screening questionnaire, and complete your application online. Applications are only accepted through this site.
What happens after I apply?
These steps must happen before you can receive HAF assistance.
1) You create a profile and complete Pre-Screening Questionnaire
2) You complete the application
3) You attend housing counseling while your application is being reviewed
4) We review your eligibility and benefits
5) You provide corrections, if necessary
6) We notify you of your eligibility
7) Your mortgage company or other service providers confirm your information
8) HAF issues payments directly to service provider
Please go to “What Should I Expect?” section for details.
How do I get help with my application?
If you need assistance in filling out the online application, please contact a housing counselor listed on the Required Documents & Resources page.
If you need help along the way in the application portal, the fastest option is to use the "chat feature" or email [email protected] for technical assistance.
Can I assist someone else with the application?
Yes. You can assist someone with an application by identifying yourself as a “representative” in the application. The applicant is responsible for all attestations and signing the application. All documentation, including proof of identity, needs to be related to the applicant, not the one providing assistance in the application process.
Is there a paper application?
The application is available online only. This speeds the data collection and application review process. If you need assistance in filling out the online application, please contact a housing counselor listed on the Required Documents & Resources page.
Why do I have to register my email before starting my application?
We will send updates about your application and requests for more information, if needed, to your email address.
What if my application is denied? Can I appeal?
Yes. If the applicant is determined to be ineligible, the applicant may appeal the eligibility determination within 15 days of notification by resubmitting documentation for reconsideration.
Do I have to attend housing counseling?
At the end of your application, you will receive contact information for a Housing Counseling agency. Applicants with select circumstances will be required to meet with a housing counselor before HAF payments are made.
However, we highly recommend all HAF applicants attend a personalized housing counseling session. Your application will continue to be processed during this time.
What type of help is available?
HAF provides assistance with:
• Property Charges including fees for housing associations, property taxes and homeowners insurance
Go to the Program Benefits section for more details.
Are reverse mortgages and/or home equity lines of credit eligible for relief?
Yes. Reverse mortgages and home equity lines of credit may be eligible for assistance.
What is a “housing association?” Does it include condos and co-ops?
Yes, housing associations include homeowner associations (HOAs), condominium associations and housing cooperatives.
What if my delinquency has been referred to a law firm or collection agency?
It is important to identify who is collecting your past due payment in your application. HAF will work with that organization for payment.
What if my utility company is not Washington Gas, PEPCO or DC Water?
HAF is currently only working with those organizations for utility assistance.
What if I bundle my internet, phone and/or television services?
HAF is currently working with to pay the internet portion of your bill.
What documentation do I need to provide?
The type of documentation needed depends on the type of assistance you are requesting. For example, if you are requesting mortgage assistance, you will need to provide an official mortgage statement from your lender/servicers. If you are requesting utility assistance, you will need to provide a bill from your utility services provider. You will find examples of accepted forms of documentation in the Required Documents & Resources tab.
Do I have to provide documentation of my COVID-related hardship?
You must attest to having experienced financial hardship after January 21, 2021 and describe the nature of the financial hardship. Examples are job loss, pay reduction or increased costs due to your own heathcare or needing to care for a family member. You’ll also have to confirm that what you state in your application is true.
How do I know if my mortgage is a “conforming loan?”
If you’re seeking mortgage assistance, your original loan amount can’t be more than the conforming loan limit at the time of origination. You can check if your loan is eligible by looking at the Conforming Loan Limits table.
What information will I need to provide for my past-due accounts?
You will be required to provide updated statements from a third-party source. Examples are: mortgage, condo association, homeowner insurance statements) showing a past due balance. Specific documentation can be found on the Required Documents Checklist.
Am I required to provide income documentation?
Yes, all applicants are required to provide income information for EVERY adult member of the household. The standard income documentation can be found on the Required Documents Checklist.
I haven't filed income taxes. Can I still apply?
Yes, if you haven’t filed taxes for calendar year 2020 or 2021 you can still apply. But you will need to provide other current income documents. See the Required Documents Checklist.
I don’t have proof of my income. Can I still apply?
Yes. You may still be eligible to apply. You will be contacted by program staff to discuss your income.
How will funds for HAF be paid?
If you’re eligible for HAF, the payments will be made directly to your mortgage servicer, insurer, District of Columbia Treasurer, utility or internet provider and/or housing association. HAF will pay the amount quoted by the organization. If you and they disagree on the amount you owe, you must work with them to resolve it.
We will notify you via email when payments have been processed.
If approved, how long does it take before you make payments?
Once the application is approved, program staff will work with your service providers to confirm past-due balances and make payments. Payment times will vary depending on whether the provider is a currently registered District vendor. We’ll notify you of payment status along the way.
I was approved months ago. Why are my payments taking so long?
The HAF program is required to make payments directly to your vendor, that is, your mortgage servicer, condo association, or utility. To do that, we first need them to be registered in our payment portal. We are working every day with vendors to get them registered so we can get payments out. Typically, payments for registered vendors are processed in under 120 days.
How much will HAF pay? My debt has increased since I applied.
HAF will pay up to the stated program limits. Please know that we confirm payment amounts with your vendor so you will be current up to the date payment is made – you do not have to update anything yourself.
The HAF program said a payment has been made but my vendor still shows a balance. Why?
It may take up to 30 days after a payment for it to be reflected in a vendor’s statement.
I applied for a couple of types of assistance. Do you wait to pay until all vendors are registered?
No. HAF pays each assistance type as soon as we are able to. Therefore, some vendors may receive payments before others.
What if the organization I owe does not register as a DC vendor?
Your service provider must be a DC Vendor for you to receive assistance through HAF.