A federal program rolled into the American Rescue Plan offers help to homeowners at risk of losing their homes amid the pandemic. (Shutterstock) Foreclosures on the Rise
A federal program rolled into the American Rescue Plan offers help to homeowners at risk of losing their homes amid the pandemic. (Shutterstock)

A fund created through the American Rescue Plan offers up to $40,000 for homeowners who risk losing their homes because of pandemic related hardships. 

More than 900,000 people in the U.S. have now died because of COVID-19, a staggering sum. But deaths are not the only calamity.

Help is on the way for North Carolina homeowners at risk of losing their homes because of the pandemic.

The NC Homeowner Assistance Fund, a program created as part of the American Rescue Plan, offers up to $40,000 per household to qualified homeowners to “help prevent mortgage delinquencies, defaults, displacements and foreclosures” related to the pandemic. 

We know North Carolina. Subscribe to the free Cardinal & Pine newsletter.

While state and federal efforts have helped prevent the worst-case scenarios in North Carolina, foreclosure proceedings here jumped nearly 20% in August of last year after limitations against them expired, according to ATTOM, a national real estate data company.

The program is operated by the NC Housing Finance Agency and there is no cost to participate, so beware of anyone asking for money during the process. Here’s what you need to know. 

What does the fund cover:

The fund offers assistance paying:

Current mortgage payments for primary residences, including single family homes, condo, mobile home, and more.

Late payments for first or second mortgages, including any related fees or administrative costs.

Some other home-related costs, including homeowner’s insurance, flood insurance, mortgage insurance, homeowner’s association dues/fees or delinquent property taxes to prevent foreclosure.

Who is Eligible:

North Carolina was given $273 million for the fund, and it’s intended to help residents who own a primary residence in North Carolina and have felt a financial hit because of the pandemic. That is a big umbrella. 

The fund says that you could qualify for assistance if you:

  • Lost your job or you’re having a hard time finding work because of the pandemic
  • Saw a sustained reduction in hours or pay 
  • Lost a spouse or partner
  • Have pandemic-related medical bills
  • Are paying for care of a family member, have increased child care costs because of school closures, or other increased costs associated with quarantine
  • Have an income below $79,900 

But there is some grace with these qualifications, the agency says, so check here to see if you qualify.

How to apply

You will need to register and provide identification and some tax and financial documents. For a full list of the documents you need, see here. 

You can apply through the Fund’s website here and call 1-855-MY-NCHAF (1-855-696-2423)