The U.S. Treasury Department has approved the Illinois Housing Development Authority's (IHDA) plan to use federal funds to assist Illinois struggling homeowners under the Hardest Hit Fund. The program, titled the Hardest Hit Fund's Homeowner Emergency Loan Program (HHF HELP), will assist low- and moderate-income families with temporary mortgage payment assistance while they work to regain sufficient income to pay their mortgage.
The IHDA says the program is still under development, and the agency does not anticipate accepting applications until the spring or summer of next year.
HHF HELP will target homeowners at or below 120% of the area median income with a portion of their mortgage payment for up to 18 months while they search for a job or participate in job training.
Homeowners located within counties of higher economic distress will be eligible for a maximum benefit of $25,000. Borrowers living in the other parts of the state will be eligible for a maximum benefit of $20,000.
Eligibility for HHF HELP will require that all homeowners be documented as
unemployed or deemed substantially underemployed due to no fault of their own.
Homeowners will contribute 31% of their current monthly income to each monthly
payment. The homeowner's payment will be remitted to IHDA, which will make the full
mortgage payment to the appropriate servicer on behalf of the homeowner, according to an online summary of the IHDA's proposal.