By Michigan State Housing Development Authority
Although the National Emergency around the COVID-19 pandemic was lifted in April 2023, some are still feeling its lingering financial effects around the country. In fact, 12.3% of individuals with “long COVID” symptoms still find themselves wrestling with unemployment.
Established in February 2022 as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the Michigan Homeowner Assistance Fund (MIHAF) aims to mitigate hardships associated with or amplified by the pandemic. The program provides up to $25,000 per household to help prevent homeowner mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosure, loss of utilities or home energy services and displacements of homeowners experiencing financial hardship.
As of October 2023, less than 10% of the $242 million remains for Michiganders in need of aid. Check out the MIHAF Dashboard for the latest funding availability: mihaf.michigan.gov/p/mihaf-dashboard.
The program covers mortgage payments and other homeownership expenses. Notably, delinquent property tax payments are eligible to be funded through MIHAF, even if they are dated before 2020. Since many financial hardships were made worse by the pandemic, many homeowners found themselves unable to catch up on property taxes, falling even further behind on taxes owed years ago. MIHAF aims to lift this burden on Michigan homeowners.
In addition to property taxes and mortgage payments, utilities are one of the most funded assistance types, accounting for 15% of aid funded.
Those who have several types of homeownership debts are eligible for assistance. MIHAF funding covers delinquent:
- Mortgage/housing expenses, including property tax and insurance escrow shortages
- Land contract payments, mobile home consumer loan payments or mobile home park lot payments
- Property taxes (from any year, not just post-pandemic)
- Condo/HOA fees
- Homeowners’ insurance payments
- Utilities payments (gas, electric, water, sewer)
- Internet broadband services
Recouping financial losses
Many have their own pandemic hardship story. Whether it’s loss of employment, income reduction, increased healthcare expenses or another hardship, there are several reasons folks may still need help.
This isn’t an isolated issue as 52% of American adults have said their financial stress has increased since before the pandemic began in March 2020. Many homeowners dipped into their savings accounts to cover living expenses. For some, they haven’t yet been able to recoup those losses. The MIHAF program is an opportunity for those homeowners to be made whole again.
MIHAF funding is running low quickly and MIHAF will no longer be accepting applications starting December 8, 2023.
If you or someone you know needs financial assistance with a pandemic-related hardship, apply for MIHAF today. Funding is allocated on a first come-first served basis, so time is of the essence.
Anyone who has begun and not completed the application process can still complete and submit their application to receive assistance.
Visit Michigan.gov/MIHAF to apply or call MIHAF Customer Service at 844-756-4423 for more information.