Homeowners in New York who are struggling to make mortgage payments due to unemployment or underemployment may be eligible for a new federal program that offers interest-free, forgivable loans to pay a portion of their mortgages. But they must act fast, as the deadline to apply is July 22, 2011.

Congress provided $1 billion to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to implement the Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program (EHLP). The program will assist homeowners who have experienced a reduction in income and are at risk of foreclosure due to involuntary unemployment or underemployment caused by the economy or a medical condition. It is one of the first programs that will help those impacted by temporary economic distress keep their homes until their family economic situation improves.

Under EHLP guidelines, eligible homeowners can qualify for interest-free, forgivable loans that pay a portion of their monthly mortgage for up to two years, up to $50,000. EHLP is expected to aid up to 30,000 distressed borrowers across the U.S., with an average loan of approximately $35,000.

Several agencies across the five boroughs are currently screening homeowners for eligibility. Seedco, a national nonprofit, is working with three community nonprofits – Brooklyn Housing and Family Services, Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, and Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council – to screen homeowners for the program.

Homeowners can find an EHLP agency and download a Pre-Applicant Screening Worksheet at www.FindEHLP.org or call 311 for more information.


About Seedco: Seedco is a national nonprofit organization founded in 1987 that advances economic opportunity for people, businesses, and communities in need. Learn more at www.www.seedco.org.


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