The Vermont Homeowner Assistance Program (HAP) will continue to provide federal grants into 2023 for overdue housing costs incurred by homeowners impacted by the pandemic. Since the program launched in January 2022, homeowners with delinquent mortgage, property tax, utility and property association fee bills have applied for approximately half of the $50 million federal funding award to Vermont.
Administered by the Vermont Housing Finance Agency, HAP is expected to continue to accept applications and provide one-time grants of up to $30,000 on behalf of eligible homeowners through the spring of 2023, assuming demand remains consistent. Another federally funded pandemic relief program, the Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance Program, recently announced a series of program changes as it nears the end of its federal fund allotment.
VHFA regularly monitors the volume of HAP applications submitted and paid and will stop taking applications once we determine we have received as many applications as can be funded. If demand for HAP assistance increases dramatically, such as a spike in overdue utility bills during the winter, VHFA will proactively notify state leaders, legislators, and the public through VHFA’s communication channels, including VHFA News, HAP News and social media.
During the program’s first nine months. HAP has paid overdue bills for 3,000 homeowners across the state who have faced economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve heard time and time again how critical support from HAP has been for neighbors hit hard by the unprecedented blows of the past few years,” explained VHFA Executive Director Maura Collins. Homeowners helped by the program have an average income of $34,000 and have received median grants of $2,700 to help them avoid foreclosure, utility shut-offs, tax sales and to stabilize their finances. Check out this pictochart of HAP customer comments.
If you or someone you know owns their home and is facing mounting housing bills due to the pandemic, please visit the HAP website at vermonthap.vhfa.org or call (833) 221-4208. 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.