Approximately $76 million in additional funding will be available for federal emergency funding for housing assistance to Guam residents who have experienced financial hardships associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, the governor's office announced Tuesday.
The U.S. Treasury allotted Guam’s Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program $62.6 million and Guam’s Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) program $13.5 million to help income-eligible residents pay their rent, mortgage, and housing-related expenses during this national emergency.
These emergency housing assistance programs are anticipated to help thousands of households. DOA is the lead government entity that administers and implements both programs for Guam.
The U.S. Treasury will release full funding to Guam upon their review and approval of Guam’s HAF plan. DOA submitted Guam’s plan to the U.S. Treasury on Aug. 27.
Guam’s ERA program provides support to island residents who are unable to pay their rent or utilities due to a pandemic-related loss of income. The ERA program was launched on March 3, 2021, and has assisted over 800 renters and landlords. Applications continue to be accepted and eligible renters and landlords in need of assistance are encouraged to apply online at www.doa.guam.gov.
Guam’s HAF program is designed to prevent mortgage delinquencies and defaults, foreclosures, and loss of utilities or home energy services, and displaced homeowners experiencing financial hardship after Jan. 21, 2020.
"Guam residents who have fallen behind on their housing payments due to the pandemic can seek relief through these programs," Gov, Lou Leon Guerrero said. "We will continue to assess additional solutions to help households in distress to keep their homes and avoid future evictions or foreclosures where possible.”
Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio said proposed HAF plan provides $15,000 of financial assistance per eligible homeowner to support delinquent mortgage payments, including payments under a forbearance or deferment plan and past-due utilities, including power, water, and trash service, and property tax payments.
"While the U.S. Treasury reviews Guam’s HAF submission, DOA will continue to work diligently to prepare for a HAF program launch in the coming weeks," Tenorio said.
Financial assistance from both programs is funded through the allocation of federal Coronavirus Relief Funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.