October 14, 2022
Kristina Tirloni 512-475-4743
Texas Homeowner Assistance Fund Adds Utility Bill and Future Mortgage Payments to Aid Applicants
AUSTIN – With record-high temperatures across the state this year, Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) announced households eligible for the Texas Homeowner Assistance Program (TXHAF) can now apply for help paying past due and future utility payments. Additionally, income-qualifying households will have more time to stabilize their finances with future mortgage payments through the program.
“The State of Texas continues working to ensure all Texans have the opportunity to lead healthy and successful lives in our state, and through the Texas Homeowner Assistance Program, we are helping keep families in their homes, the lights on, and the water running,” said Governor Abbott. “Thank you to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs for working tirelessly to support Texans who have experienced financial restraints in recent years. I encourage Texans who qualify for assistance to apply for this program to receive help with past due and future utility payments.”
Each household can receive up to $65,000 in total assistance, provided in the form of a grant. To be eligible, homeowners must meet the following criteria:
- Experienced a qualified financial hardship due to the pandemic after January 21, 2020, such as lost income or increased expenses
- Are behind on one or more payments: mortgage loans, property taxes, property insurance, homeowner/condo association fees, and/or utility bills
- Have a household income at or below 100% Area Median Income (AMI) or 100% of the median income for the United States, whichever is greater
- Own and occupy a home in Texas as a primary residence
Since its launch in March, TXHAF has disbursed more than $175M and assisted more than 18,000 unique households. Full program details, an eligibility screener, program dashboard, online application and more are available at TexasHomeownerAssistance.com. For questions, TXHAF has toll-free call center available Mon. – Fri., 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. by calling 833-651-3874. Help is available in multiple languages.
- Utility Bill Assistance
TXHAF can cover the past-due balance and up to three months of future payments for electricity, natural gas, propane, water and wastewater utility services, up to a maximum of $10,000. In addition to the overall TXHAF eligibility criteria, households must have a past-due utility bill dated within the last 45 days and must own and occupy the residence at the address listed on the past-due utility bill.
- Qualifying households can apply for utility bill assistance regardless of whether or not they apply for mortgage relief or property charge help. If approved, payments will be made directly to the utility vendor on the applicant’s behalf in the form of one lump sum. The $10,000 maximum utility assistance is included in the $65,000 per household cap.
- Future Mortgage Payments
Households with no income or a debt-to-income ratio greater than 55% who are unable to continue making monthly mortgage payments can now qualify for mortgage reinstatement plus up to three months of future payments, up to the household maximum of $65,000.
“We recognize many variables can affect one’s ability to keep up with home-related expenses. By adding utility bill assistance and future mortgage payments, we can give them time to seek out housing counseling or legal aid services, work with their loan servicer to modify their loan terms, or even find ways to bolster their income.” Bobby Wilkinson, Executive Director of TDHCA said. “It allows us to better meet people’s unique needs.”
About the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is committed to expanding fair housing choice and opportunities for Texans through the administration and funding of affordable housing and homeownership opportunities, weatherization, and community-based services with the help of for-profits, nonprofits, and local governments. For more information about fair housing, funding opportunities, or services in your area, please visit www.tdhca.state.tx.us or the Learn about Fair Housing in Texas page.
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