In June, the Department of Housing and Urban Development launched a new grant program to help home owners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments due to unemployment or unexpected medical bills.
The program offers eligible home owners $50,000 in interest-free loans for up to two years.
HUD has until the end of the governmentâ€™s fiscal year, Sept. 30, to spend all of its $1 billion for the Emergency Homeownersâ€™ Loan Program (or EHLP), which will provide 27 states with aid for the program. Home owners in eligible states have until July 22 to complete their applications.
HUD hopes that 30,000 home owners can be helped through the program.
However, while some are seeing the program as a last chance to help unemployed home owners stay in their homes, others arenâ€™t as convinced the program will do much good in ultimately lessening foreclosures in the country.
"The best foreclosure mitigation program in America is a job,â€ argues Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas. â€œIt's not a government check, it's a paycheck.â€ Earlier this year, Hensarling sponsored a bill to end EHLP, which was supported by the House. The Senate has yet to take up the bill, however.
For a full list of states and eligibility requirements for EHLP, visit the HUD Web site.
Source: â€œHUD to Give Away $1 Billion to Struggling Home Owners,â€ The Washington Post (July 4, 2011)
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