By: Mia Watson

Due to high demand and the second-highest rate of payments in the nation, the Vermont Homeowner Assistance Program (VHAP) will no longer accept new applications after Monday, June 12, 2023. All new or currently pending applications must be submitted to the applicant portal on vermonthap.vhfa.org by 5:00 PM on this date.

Vermont Homeowner Assistance Program

VHAP provides grants of up to $30,000 per household towards overdue mortgage payments, utility bills, property taxes, and property association charges. Launched in January 2022, VHAP has now awarded $29.4 million in grants and received applications for an additional $8 million, accounting for about 90% of its available funding provided by the federal American Rescue Plan Act. Data from the U.S. Treasury shows that, as of September 2022, Vermont was second in the nation for the percentage of available Homeowner Assistance Program funds paid out to homeowners. Vermont’s program is administered by the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA).

“VHFA has been proud to support homeowners who have struggled due to the pandemic," remarked VHFA Executive Director Maura Collins. “As this temporary program begins to wind down, we will continue to explore new ways to help make housing more affordable for all Vermonters.”

To date, VHAP has assisted 5,172 households from across Vermont. Most households receiving grants have low or moderate incomes, with the median household earning $34,170 per year. VHFA makes weekly updates to a dashboard on its website that displays program activity.

Beverly from Rockingham works in healthcare and contracted Covid-19 early in the pandemic. After being unable to work for weeks and facing other health challenges, she struggled to keep up with her property taxes.

“I just fell behind in everything, it was a perfect storm," wrote Beverly. “I was on the brink of having my little home go up for tax sale…I went into panic mode, and someone told me about your program and that I should apply. I was hesitant, I have to be honest because I consider myself a worker, always have, and it was painful for me to reach out and ask for help. I am so pleased that I did because VHAP was such an easy platform to navigate…Now I get to remain in my home, it's helped me to recover from an awful chapter in my life.”

VHAP anticipates that it has sufficient funding for all previously submitted applications that are currently under review and will continue to review those applications for eligibility and process payments. After the portal is closed on June 12th, VHFA will offer prospective applicants the option to sign up for a waitlist. VHFA will contact those applicants individually to let them know if they can submit an application based on funding availability at that point.

If you or someone you know owns their home and is having difficulty paying housing bills due to the pandemic, please visit the VHAP website at vermonthap.vhfa.org or call (833) 221-4208. Translation services, application assistance and counseling are available through local nonprofit partners.

The Vermont Homeowner Assistance Program is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number HAFP-0040 awarded to the State of Vermont by the US Department of the Treasury.