Homeowners Assistance Fund to help Montana residents stay current on mortgage payments

Amid Montana’s worsening housing crisis, U.S. Senator Jon Tester secured $50 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) fundraising for montana Homeowners Assistance Fund to help homeowners who have experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tester was the only statewide elected official in Montana to back the U.S. bailout.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated Montana’s housing crisis, but thanks to the U.S. bailout, we’ve been able to lower costs for struggling homeowners and keep Montana’s economy strong,” said Tester. “Stable housing is critical to the well-being of families across the state, and these resources will ensure those hardest hit by the pandemic can bounce back with the rest of Montana. This is great news for people pursuing the American dream of homeownership, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make that dream more accessible to all Montananese.

The Homeowners Relief Fund was created by ARPA and funds are now available for homeowners who experienced financial hardship on January 21, 2020. Montana homeowners whose gross household income does not exceed 150% of area median income may be eligible for funding. Additionally, 60% of available funds must target Montana residents whose gross household income does not exceed 100% of the region’s median income.

Qualified homeowners can use Homeowner Assistance Funding for the following:

  • Mortgage Reinstatement: Financial assistance, in the form of an interest-free loan, to bring a mortgage account up to date with no outstanding amounts remaining, including payments under a forbearance plan, and to repay the amounts advanced by the lender or the administrator on behalf of the borrower for land charges.
  • Lien Prevention: Financial assistance, in the form of a grant, to prevent the seizure of property taxes or to remove or prevent the creation of other liens that would put the owner at imminent risk of displacement.
  • Utilities/Internet: Electricity, gas, home energy costs and internet/broadband support.

You will find more information on eligibility and the application process here.

In 2020, Tester held hundreds of meetings with Montana workers, small business owners, frontline healthcare workers, educators, tribes and local officials to solicit feedback on what Montanans have needed to get through the pandemic. The tester used this input to help design the US rescue planwhich provided $20 billion in funding for vaccines, $382 million for Montana K-12 schools, legislation to restore long-distance service on the Empire Builder Amtrak route, and billions for small businesses, rural hospitals and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Tester is a strong advocate for expanding affordable housing opportunities in Montana. Through his role on the Senate Appropriations Committee, he played a key role in negotiating a bipartisan budget agreement that made substantial investments in affordable housing initiatives, including the HOME Development Block Grant programs. and Community.

Last November, Tester was awarded nearly $1.7 million for rural housing and economic development in Montana through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Awards Program.

In 2020, he helped secure over $4 million for Montana’s public housing authorities and over $26 million for affordable housing in Indian Country. He also worked to secure $15 million in HUD funding made available by the American Rescue Plan to support the construction, purchase or rehabilitation of affordable housing for low and very low income families. That same year, Tester hosted a Housing Summit to gather ideas and suggestions from stakeholders and constituents on how to address the growing housing crisis, and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it secured $3.3 million to support housing, public health, coronavirus response, and economic disruption needs.