The Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) is preparing to implement and administer the State of Oklahoma’s allocation of approximately $87 million from the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF), established by Section 3206 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
OHFA is soliciting public comment and participation regarding the formulation and implementation of its HAF Plan.
The HAF was established to mitigate financial hardships (job loss, reduction of income, or increased costs due to healthcare or the need to care for a family member) caused by COVID-19 after January 21, 2020. It provides funds for qualified expenses related to mortgages and housing costs for a primary residence to prevent the displacement of homeowners.
OHFA is required to submit a HAF Plan to Treasury for approval. OHFA’s HAF Plan must comply with Treasury’s Homeowner Assistance Fund Guidance, which may be amended.
Under OHFA’s proposed HAF Plan, Oklahoma homeowners, including homeowners classified as socially disadvantaged, may be eligible for up to $20,000 of assistance for their primary residence, if they have experienced a COVID-19 related financial hardship after January 21, 2020, and meet the income requirements of the program. Treasury defines socially disadvantaged homeowners as those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias because of their identity as a member of a group without regard to their individual qualities. Included in this definition are Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders.
Members of the public are invited to attend the hearing and provide input on OHFA’s proposed HAF Plan. Written comments were accepted until 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 23, 2021, via email to Lee Ann Smith, [email protected]
- The Homeowner Assistance Fund is made available through the American Rescue Plan Act, which was enacted May 11, 2021.
- The Homeowner Assistance Fund will provide financial assistance for homeowners who have experienced a significant reduction or loss of income due to COVID-19 and have been unable to remain current with their mortgage payments.
- OHFA and the U.S. Department of the Treasury are in the process of developing eligibility requirements for the program.
- Eligibility requirements and details about the application process will be available at www.ohfa.org, once the program has been approved by the U.S. Treasury.
- OHFA anticipates disbursing funds to mortgage servicers for eligible homeowners by September 2021, if authorized to do so by the U.S. Treasury.
- Treasury has extended the deadline for states and territories to either submit HAF Plans or notify Treasury of the date by which their HAF plan will be submitted beyond July 31, 2021.