Montana Homeowner Assistance Fund

For the Homeownership Assistance Fund and Montana Emergency Rental Assistance programs
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The American Rescue Plan Act passed by Congress and signed by the president contains $9.961 billion nationwide for a Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF). That funding will help Montanan homeowners, and homeowners across the country, remain in their homes.

The Montana Homeowner Assistance Fund will include $50 million in federal funding allocated by Congress to the State of Montana through the American Rescue Plan Act, and appropriated to the Department of Commerce through the passage of HB 632.


View Montana's Homeowner Assistance Fund Plan


We recommend homeowners follow our Facebook page, visit HOUSING.MT.GOV for current information about housing assistance, and to subscribe to receive email updates from the Department of Commerce about future public hearings, community engagement opportunities, and updates regarding the status of the Montana Homeowner Assistance Fund.

Eligibility Requirements

The Montana Homeowner Assistance Fund will serve Montanans whose gross household income does not exceed 150 percent of the Area Median Income. Additionally, 60% of funds available must target Montanans whose gross household income does not exceed 100% of the Area Median Income.

Use the tool below to type in the county where you live and the number of people living in your household to check eligible income limits. Households can search eligibility by 100% of Area Median Income or 150% of Area Median Income. Availability of funds for households whose income exceeds 100% of Area Median Income, but is less than 150% of Area Median Income, will be subject to the 60% of funds target federal requirement.

Funds will be available to a homeowner with respect to qualified expenses and hardship related to the homeowner’s primary residence. Eligible homeowners must have experienced a Financial Hardship after January 21, 2020. A Financial Hardship means a material reduction in income or material increase in living expenses associated with the coronavirus pandemic that has created, or increased, a risk of mortgage delinquency, mortgage default, foreclosure, loss of utilities or home energy services, or displacement for a homeowner.

The Montana Homeowner Assistance Fund may be used for the following:

  1. Mortgage Reinstatement: Financial assistance, in the form of a loan, to bring a mortgage account current with no remaining delinquent amounts, including payments under a forbearance plan, and to repay amounts advanced by the lender or servicer on the Borrower’s behalf for property charges
  2. Lien Prevention: Financial assistance in form of a grant to prevent property tax foreclosure or remove or prevent creation of other liens (HOA, COA, lot rent etc.) that would place homeowner at imminent risk of displacement
  3. Homeowner’s utilities, including electric, gas and home energy
  4. Homeowner’s internet service

Please see Sample Terms Sheet for further details on each of the above programs.

We are taking steps to develop and test procedures in a pilot program with loans in the Montana Housing portfolio and working with our software provider to create an online application portal. We anticipate launching the HAF program statewide in the summer of 2022.

While the HAF Program is under development, Montana homeowners can take several actions now, including:

  1. Contact your mortgage servicer and determine whether there are other loss mitigation options available to you, based on the investor / insurer of your loan. Resource: CFPB website
  2. Connect with a HUD-approved housing counselor. Resource: HUD-approved housing counselor and/or Montana Homeowner Housing Counseling Network
  3. Be prepared to gather documentation that will be needed for a future HAF application such as:
• Current income verification
• Documentation from Mortgage Servicer verifying that loss mitigation options have been pursued
• Most recent mortgage statement
• Deed of Trust for primary residence
• Utility and/or internet shut-off or late notice

 

Program Background

The purpose of the Montana Homeowner Assistance Fund, in accordance with federal legislation and U.S. Treasury guidance, is to mitigate financial hardships associated with the coronavirus pandemic by providing funds to prevent homeowner mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacements of homeowners experiencing financial hardship after January 21, 2020.

U.S. Treasury required states to complete and submit a Homeowner Assistance Fund Plan for their review and approval before the full federal funding is released to support the launch of a statewide Homeowner Assistance Fund program. This plan is required to include a data-driven assessment of homeowner needs and evidence of public participation and community engagement to inform program design.

Montana Housing published and released a draft of the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) Plan for a 30-day public comment period starting August 12, 2021 through September 12, 2021. Members of the public, including but not limited to, homeowners, mortgage servicers, and housing counseling and foreclosure prevention experts, were provided an opportunity to comment on any aspect of the HAF Plan draft.

In-person public comment opportunities on the proposed plan were also provided during the September 8 Commission meeting, and time was allotted during the September 14 Montana Board of Housing meeting, in accordance with state open meeting law requirements.

Following the close of public comment, the Montana HAF Plan was finalized and submitted to the U.S. Department of the Treasury on September 28, 2021. As has been the experience with most other states, Treasury provided Montana Housing with a list of follow-up questions in mid-November and requested responses within 30-days. Montana Housing submitted the requested information on December 14, 2021. Treasury formally approved the Montana HAF Plan on January 18, 2022.


Montana Homeowner Assistance Fund program publications are being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number HAF0008 awarded to State of Montana by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.


Frequently Asked Questions