By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The federally-funded Guam Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) has received over 650 pre-applications from homeowners seeking financial assistance in the first five days since opening on Jan. 31, the governor's office announced today.
Approved by the U.S. Treasury, HAF provides $13.5 million to homeowners in need of financial assistance for mortgage and housing obligations, and relief for mortgage, utility, and property taxes.
The HAF program, funded through an allocation from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, is similar to the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program, which provides relief to struggling households facing financial hardship as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“These robust housing relief programs reflect the efforts of staff who work tirelessly to identify and secure means to protect distressed families in our community facing eviction, foreclosure, or utility service disconnection,” said Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero.
“The HAF and ERA programs are a powerful portfolio of measures that help our people stay in their homes. These programs empower families to achieve the best outcome possible for their family and housing situation," the governor said.
“Working families have faced unprecedented burdens over the last two years,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio.
“If you are struggling to pay your mortgage or other homeowner obligations, the Guam HAF program can help you get back on your feet. We encourage all eligible homeowners to apply for assistance. If you are unsure if you’re eligible, visit doa.guam.gov for more information or call 671-638-3814 to be put in touch with staff who will help in guiding you through the process and understanding the options available to you and your family.”
The ERA program has obligated $10.2 million in rental relief to 2,500 households to date.
HAF, the island’s newest housing assistance program, opened its doors on Jan. 31, and to date has received over 650 pre-applications from homeowners seeking financial aid.
Eligible homeowners may qualify for up to $15,000 from HAF. An initial batch of HAF relief assistance is anticipated to be paid by the end of February with further batch payments forthcoming.