The DC Housing Finance Agency (HFA) has recently announced the reopening of HomeSaver, a foreclosure prevention program that provides payment assistance to DC homeowners who are behind on their mortgage or other housing-related payments. For qualified homeowners, HomeSaver provides up to $60,000 in lump-sum catch-up assistance and/or ongoing monthly payment assistance. Homeowners may qualify if they experienced an eligible hardship, and are either (1) unemployed or underemployed and no more than 16 months behind on their payments, or (2) able to afford their regular monthly payments going forward but need help paying arrears.
Homeowners should apply now, as funds are limited and applications will only be accepted through May 14.
Legal Aid commends HFA for reopening HomeSaver, which has served as a powerful foreclosure prevention and anti-displacement tool, predominantly helping homeowners in Wards 4, 5, 7, and 8 and preserving Black homeownership in the District. Since the program closed in 2019, Legal Aid and colleagues at AARP Legal Counsel for the Elderly have urged the agency to reopen HomeSaver and amend certain programmatic guidelines to reduce barriers to eligibility, highlighting the substantial and continuing local need for foreclosure prevention assistance. The intensity of this need has grown exponentially over the past year, with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic falling disproportionately on Black and Hispanic homeowners. HFA’s reopening of the HomeSaver program and adoption of changes to program guidelines to increase eligibility are an important positive step in addressing the needs of low-income homeowners and the racial wealth and homeownership gap in the District.