Housing programs will be strengthened in 2017

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The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) took positive action to benefit low- and middle-income populations this month, including approval of programs that will strengthen the state’s 2017 housing opportunities for residents struggling with mortgage payments and others in need of affordable rentals.

The board approved guidelines for Home Seeker, a new mortgage assistance program, which will provide up to $20,000 to cover down-payment and closing costs for homebuyers purchasing homes in certain designated areas hardest hit by foreclosures within New Jersey, according to a statement provided by NJHMFA.

In addition, this year, the Christie Administration received $114.5 million from U.S. Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program directed to the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) program. These funds will be used to continue existing HHF foreclosure prevention assistance programs and to fund a new down-payment and closing cost assistance program, according to the statement.

NJHMFA currently offers two HHF programs known as HomeSaver and HomeKeeper. These programs offer up to $50,000 in assistance to qualified homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage. These programs will enable New Jersey – one of the nation’s hardest hit states — to continue assisting struggling homeowners and stabilizing housing markets, according to the statement.

“This additional federal support will allow us to assist New Jersey homeowners by helping them to remain in their homes and prevent avoidable foreclosures, which will result in greater neighborhood stabilization,” said New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Charles A. Richman, who also serves as chairman of the HMFA Board.

In 2010, HMFA became the administrator of an initial allocation of $300.5 million to New Jersey from the Hardest Hit Fund. In 2016, HMFA was awarded an additional $114.5 million. To date, through its two existing programs – The New Jersey HomeSaver Program and the New Jersey HomeKeeper Program — the HMFA provided assistance to more than 6,000 households.

“The HMFA is dedicated to increasing the availability and accessibility of safe, decent and affordable housing to families in New Jersey,” HMFA Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta said in the statement.

For more information, visit www.njhousing.gov