Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava on Monday announced a program to help homeowners behind on monthly mortgage payments a year after she acknowledged the county’s housing-affordability crisis, which continues in at least its third year. Speaking at Overtown’s Culmer community-resource center, Levine Cava unveiled a mortgage-relief program in partnership with Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida. Under the program, qualified households can get a one-time payment of $1,500 to be used for late mortgage payments, homeowner-association dues, and property insurance, among other things. A total of $25 million in funding was set aside for the Mortgage Relief Program under the 2022-23 budget and the amount will come out of the $85 million for the HOMES Plan.
$25 million in total was allocated to the Mortgage Relief Program under the FY2022-23 budget – as part of the $85 million HOMES Plan – and the program can serve up to 15,000 eligible families.
To qualify, applicants must have proof of income that indicates they do not earn more than 140% of the area median income — ranging from $95,620 for a household of one person to $180,180 for a household of eight people — and own a primary residence in Miami-Dade. Priority will be given to applicants who are seniors, disabled, families with children, and households with mortgages three to 12 months past due. Applicants can apply online at https://nhssf.org/mortgage-relief-program/ and get assistance with their applications at any of the county’s 12 community-resource centers. District 2 Commissioner Marleine Bastien, who serves as chairwoman of the Housing, Recreation, Culture and Community Development Committee, said the new program should help struggling families.
“Do we want to build a community for those with six figures and the means to buy?” Bastein said. “We want families of all backgrounds to be able to live here.” Over the past year, Levine Cava has sought different ways for the county to help families most affected by the region’s skyrocketing housing costs. A big piece of the overall effort was her plan to keep people in their homes by setting aside $85 million in rental-assistance funds for qualified residents. “We have distributed $130 million and prevented 28,000 households from experiencing homelessness,” she said Monday. “We know there is so much work to be done and that people are struggling all over Miami-Dade. With new leadership at the helm, I am very confident that brighter days are on the horizon.”
This story was originally published April 24, 2023, 3:38 PM by The Miami Herald