Homeowners financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can finally find reprieve from financial hardships. ND Help for Homeowners, a $50 million federal program funded by the U.S. Dept. of Treasury, is intended to help homeowners with past-due mortgage payments, utilities and other housing-related costs. Homeowners who lost income due to underlying health conditions, long-term health complications, unemployment or reduced work hours including lost self-employment income, and other financial hardships are encouraged to apply.
Eligibility requires households to own and occupy their single-family home, duplex, condominium or manufactured home. There are income limitations based on county and household size.
While it was decided that the Dept. of Human Services (DHS) would administer the homeownership assistance program because they had already implemented the federal Emergency Rental Assistance program, called ND Rent Help, North Dakota Housing Finance (NDHFA) assisted DHS on developing the statewide plan for the homeownership assistance programs.
ND Help for Homeowners has three main components:
- ND Homeowner Reinstatement Program – one-time lump sum grants to help reinstate past due housing costs (mortgage, utility and other expenses) for homeowners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible expenses include delinquent payments, payments to satisfy secondary liens from loss mitigation options (ex. FHA partial claim, COVID-19 workout loans), and expenses related to past due balances for home utilities, taxes, and fees
- Maximum amount per household is $40,000, a lump sum payment.
- ND Homeowner Payment Assistance Program – monthly payments for mortgage and utility assistance grants to stabilize eligible homeowners. Funds can cover future mortgage payments as well as utility expenses. Funding may also be applied to property tax, special assessments, lot rents, and homeowner and condo association fees.
- Maximum amount per household is $12,000 or six months of assistance.
- ND Homeowner Home Repair Program (available Aug. 2022) – grants to eligible homeowners who have experienced a hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic and who have with home repair needs that affect the ongoing insurability or accessibility of their home.
- Maximum amount per household is $30,000.
All payments will be made directly to the mortgage loan servicer, utility provider, and other entities that would process payments for the expenses listed. The total amount for all three programs that a household can receive is $40,000. Funds are available July 2022 through August 2025, or until program funds are exhausted.
While the state’s overall foreclosure and delinquency numbers were below the national average during the pandemic, the hardships many households have endured should not be minimized Households that were impacted by the pandemic but were still able to make their mortgage payment or received a loss mitigation solution should talk to their servicers and apply for assistance.
When the plan was created in 2021, information was gathered from local, state and federal resources to assess the financial distress homeowners were experiencing. Almost 2,600 mortgages were in distress, more than 6,900 residential properties had not paid taxes, and another 27,000 residential households were delinquent on their utility bills.
ND Help for Homeowners is a unique program that can help homeowners retrieve the equity they may have lost on their home or ensure future housing stability. Encourage everyone you know that was affected during the pandemic to look into this program and apply.
Households can apply online or learn more about ND Help for Homeowners at https://www.applyforhelp.nd.gov/housing. If anyone needs assistance completing an application(s), call (701) 328-1907 or 711 TTY between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., CT, Monday through Friday, to speak to a homeowner assistance specialist.