Obama administration launches $1 billion program to help unemployed homeowners

June 21, 2011 09:04AM

The Obama administration has finally launched the new Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program, a $1 billion initiative to help unemployed homeowners with their mortgage payments by giving them zero-interest loans of up to $50,000. The program was delayed last year as a result of complications in coming to agreements with state agencies, a non-profit counseling network NeighborWorks USA and a financial processing firm that are helping to run the program. The catch: Because of the delay, homeowners only have a month to apply for the program. Applications will be rejected after July 22. 

“It will be challenging,” to enroll borrowers, given the short time frame, said David Berenbaum, chief program officer of the Washington-based National Community Reinvestment Coalition, which is helping run the program.

According to the Wall Street Journal, around 30,000 borrowers are expected to qualify for the loans, which can be forgiven over five years.

Yesterday, the Department of Housing and Urban Development approved 27 states and Puerto Rico for the program. Texas is the largest recipient of the government funding, at $135 million, followed by New York at $112 million. [WSJ]