Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott today announced a new program to support Baltimore City homeowners facing a mortgage crisis.
The Emergency Mortgage & Housing Assistance Program (EMHAP) will assist Baltimore City homeowners experiencing economic hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic whose homes are at risk of foreclosure. The Scott Administration has designated $3 million in Community Development Block Grant CARES Act (CDGV-CV3) funds for this program.
“National studies have shown that one in five people are struggling to make their mortgage payment due to economic hardship caused by the pandemic,” said Mayor Scott. “We’ve provided rental assistance and eviction prevention support to many who lost their income due to COVID-19. Now we’re expanding our efforts to support homeowners who have faced similar economic hardship and may be facing foreclosure.”
According to a City press release:
Assistance will be provided as a grant in the form of a direct payment to the mortgage company and can be applied to past due mortgage principal and interest and any other past due charges included in the mortgage payment (including homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, and private mortgage insurance). Homeowners with no mortgage can also receive assistance for past due homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, and water bills. Payments can be applied toward arrearages for any consecutive six-month period since March 1, 2020.
To qualify for EMHAP, homeowners must meet the following guidelines:
- Gross annual household income at or below 80% AMI (priority will be given to applicants below 50% AMI).
- The applicant must occupy the property as his/her primary residence.
- The applicant must have a mortgage with a past due balance or, if the applicant does not have a mortgage, homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, or water bills with past due balances.
The household of the applicant must demonstrate a loss or reduction of income due to COVID-19. “The City is committed to helping homeowners who are facing economic hardship due to the pandemic. DHCD is implementing preventative measures and offering resources that addresses their needs,” said DHCD Housing Commissioner Alice Kennedy. “We estimate that we will be able to assist 300-600 households through this program.”
The Baltimore City Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD) will administer the program. The EMHAP application is entirely online. Applicants can enter information and upload supporting documents. Designated staff will verify applicant eligibility, obtain W9s from mortgage companies and process expense authorizations to issue payments. Interested applicants should go HERE for more information and to apply. The program will end once all funds have been committed.