$1 billion in HUD funding delayed to spring

The Department of Housing and Urban Development will release $1 billion in mortgage assistance to the unemployed this spring, after receiving complaints from lawmakers and advocacy groups that HUD was stalling in their efforts. More than 60 national consumer advocacy groups called on HUD to implement a program that would pay up to $50,000 per eligible borrower, Housingwire reported. The HUD money comes with a 0 percent interest rate and seeks to help homeowners with mortgage payments for up to 24 months. To qualify for the federal funds, borrowers must show they have either lost their job or suffer from a medical condition. Also, a household’s yearly income cannot exceed 120 percent of the area’s median income, and the income must have been reduced by at least 15 percent over the last two years. HUD announced the program in August, but earlier this month, Sen. Bob Casey sent a letter to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, urging him to disburse the funds he claims were overdue. “This foreclosure crisis is too severe for such a slow pace of implementation,” advocates said in a Jan. 21 letter sent to Donovan. A spokesperson for HUD said homeowners should be able to apply for the program sometime during the first quarter of 2011. [Housingwire]

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