New Mexico offers mortgage assistance to homeowners hit by pandemic

·2 min read

Jun. 8—Income-eligible homeowners who have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic may be able to receive mortgage assistance under a $1 million pilot program unveiled Monday by the state Department of Finance and Administration.

Grants of up to $10,000 will be available to eligible homeowners "to maintain housing and reduce housing cost delinquency," according to a news release.

"The pilot program will run for six months," the news release states. "Upon completion of the pilot program and submission acceptance from the federal government, the state of New Mexico and MFA [Mortgage Finance Authority] will formally launch a $52 million program."

New Mexico is the first state in the nation to launch a pilot program specifically for homeowners, said Henry Valdez, a department spokesman.

"Once we launch the main program, it will encompass emergency repairs like roofing to help reduce housing displacement and avoid New Mexican homeowners becoming homeless," he said Monday.

Assistance covers past-due and current mortgage payments for income-eligible New Mexicans who have experienced a financial hardship associated with the pandemic, the news release states. The Mortgage Finance Authority will make payments directly to mortgage or loan service providers, escrow companies or other housing providers.

"Many New Mexico families have faced the possibility of foreclosure during the past year due to financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic," Isidoro Hernandez, executive director and CEO of the Mortgage Finance Authority, said in a statement. "The New Mexico Homeowner Assistance Fund will ease those worries for many homeowners and ensure that they and their families can remain in their home. In combination with the state's Emergency Rental Assistance Program, these programs will help keep New Mexicans securely housed."

To be eligible for the program, the household income cannot exceed 100 percent of the area median income. Go to housingnm.org to apply online or call (505) 308-4206 or toll-free at (866) 488-0498 to request a paper application.

Follow Daniel J. Chacón on Twitter @danieljchacon.

Follow Daniel J. Chacón on Twitter @danieljchacon.

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