Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF)
If you currently face foreclosure and need a resource to help navigate the process, FREE housing counseling and civil legal aid for income-qualified individuals and families are currently available by contacting the Washington Homeownership Resource Center. The Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
To contact the Center, visit their website at https://www.homeownership-wa.org/contact
Toll-Free Number: 1–877–894-4663
Online contact: https://portal.homeownership-wa.org/auth/register
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) passed by Congress in March 2021 provided Washington $173 million to prevent mortgage delinquencies and defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacement of homeowners experiencing hardships after Jan. 21, 2020. During the 2021 legislative session, the Legislature authorized Commerce to use these funds.
The first step in securing this funding for Washington was to contract with the U.S. Department of Treasury (U.S. Treasury). Commerce completed this step in May of 2021 and received 10% of the total allocation.
The next required step in the process is to submit a plan to the U.S. Treasury that explains the state’s approach to delivering the funds to those Washingtonians in need of homeownership assistance. Commerce is partnering with the Washington State Housing Finance Commission (Commission) to create this plan and allocate the program funds. Note that ARPA requires that states expend all HAF funds by Sept. 30, 2025.
The U.S. Treasury’s HAF guidance encourages states to create pilot programs to deliver funds quickly to the targeted populations. Before submitting a formal plan to the U.S. Treasury, Commerce and the Commission intend to roll out a pilot program using a small portion (10%) of the HAF funding from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2021. The purpose of the pilot program is two-fold:
- To maintain and increase the state’s existing network of foreclosure prevention support for homeowners and begin offering mortgage assistance to those earning up to 100% of the Area Median Income.
- To help inform the planning for and design of the HAF program (Commerce will submit a formal plan to the U.S. Treasury in the next few months)
Thank you for submitting your comments on the draft plan. The public comment period closed on June 7, 2021.
It is important for all Washington homeowners facing default or foreclosure of a residential property to contact the Washington Homeownership Resource Center. There is help available right now for residential property owners facing a default action.