Minnesota’s relief program for homeowners, HomeHelpMN, who have fallen behind on their mortgages or other housing-related expenses because of the COVID-19 pandemic is now open.
The application period is open until June 17, but homeowners who need help are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The program, funded by Congress through the U.S. Department of the Treasury, will provide a total of $109 million in assistance for struggling homeowners, with a goal of preventing foreclosures.
“Many households were already one paycheck away from falling behind even before the pandemic. Lost wages quickly led to missed payments,” said Minnesota Housing Commissioner Jennifer Ho. “Many Minnesotans have fallen behind on their mortgage. Many are even facing foreclosure. HomeHelpMN opened today with a goal of preserving homeownership for as many Minnesotans as possible.”
Commissioner Ho stressed that the need for assistance is expected to be greater than the amount of funding available. Homeowners who are interested in applying should visit the website or call the call center soon to submit their application.
Homeowners can receive up to $35,000 in assistance, for qualified past-due expenses including mortgage bills and contract for deed payments, manufactured home loan payments, property taxes, homeowner association fees, property insurance, and manufactured home lot lease and Tribal Land Lease payments. The assistance, which is in the form of a grant, is paid directly to the mortgage lender, or other debt holder.
Eligibility for the program is based on income and varies based on the county. A full chart of the income limits is available at the program website, HomeHelpMN.org.
Applications can be submitted online at HomeHelpMN.org and over the phone at 800-388-3226. The website and application is available in English, Spanish, Somali, and Hmong. The call center supports these languages and more – callers will be prompted to select a language and will be connected to an interpreter if they prefer a language other than English. Call Center hours are from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
The documentation needed will vary depending on the types of assistance needed. At a minimum, homeowners will need: Proof of ownership; Photo identification; Income documentation; Supporting information for the type(s) of assistance requested.
Homeowners can visit HomeHelpMN.org to learn more and download a checklist to help prepare.
The more complete an application is when it is submitted, the faster it can be processed, and having all of the information on hand will make it easier to complete the request for funds. However, homeowners should not let a missing document stop them from submitting an application.
Applications for HomeHelpMN will be processed as they are submitted. In the event of high demand for funds, the funds may be fully reserved before the date the application period closes. If applications received during the application period exceed available funding, applicants may be put on a wait list.
A submitted application is not a guarantee of funding availability.