There is federal funding available to help homeowners stay in their homes and prevent foreclosure, default, delinquency, displacement and loss of utilities.
The fund for Michigan, the Michigan Homeowner Assistance Fund (MIHAF), is being processed by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).
MIHAF will stop accepting new applications after Friday, December 8, 2023. After December 8, homeowners can ask to be added to a waitlist by calling 1-844-756-4423 or by emailing MSHDA-HO-HAF-Program@michigan.gov. Being added to the waitlist does not guarantee assistance. Learn more on the MSHDA MIHAF site.
How Much Can I Get?
Households can receive up to $25,000 in assistance. You can only get assistance one time per household.
Funds are given on a first-come, first-served basis within the program’s priority guidelines.
How Can the Money Be Used?
MIHAF funds can only be used for the following expenses. In order for those expenses to qualify, you need to be behind on these payments. These are expenses that qualify for MIHAF funding:
- Mortgage/housing loan payments (including escrows)
- Land contract and reverse mortgage payments
- Property taxes
- Condo/homeowners’ association fees
- Mobile home and/or lot payment assistance
- Homeowner’s insurance payments
- Gas, electric, water, and sewer payments
- Internet services payments
You can use the funds for the past due payments even if they are from before January 2020.
If you are approved for funding, the MIHAF assistance will go directly to the entity that is owed the money, such as the mortgage lender/servicer, land contract holder, or utility company.
Who Is Eligible for Assistance?
To qualify for MIHAF funding, you must meet all of the following criteria:
- Experienced a Qualified Financial Hardship (see below) on or after January 21, 2020. It is okay if the hardship started before January 21, 2020, so long as it continued after that date.
- Owned the home on or before January 21, 2020
- Currently own and live in the home as your primary residence
- Household income equal to or less than 150% of the area median income
If you have previously filed for bankruptcy, but are no longer in bankruptcy, you may need to provide proof of the discharge or dismissal or have permission from the bankruptcy trustee to participate in the MIHAF program.
What Is a Qualified Financial Hardship?
A Qualified Financial Hardship is a reduction in income or an increase in living expenses that is associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. This hardship has to have created or increased your risk of falling behind in your mortgage payments, being in default, going into foreclosure, losing utility or home energy services, or having to move out of your house.
The reduction in income can be temporary or permanent, but it has to have happened on or after January 21, 2020. It is ok if it started before January 21, 2020, so long as it continued after that date.
Increased living expenses can include medical expenses, inadequate medical insurance, an increase in household size, or costs to reconnect utility service. These living expenses have to directly relate to the COVID-19 pandemic and must have happened on or after January 21, 2020. It is ok if it started before January 21, 2020, so long as it continued after that date.
Are There Restrictions for What Types of Properties Qualify?
There are restrictions for what types of properties qualify. Not all types of property are eligible for MIHAF funding.
Properties that are eligible are:
- Single-family homes
- Condo units
- 1-4 unit properties where the homeowner is living in one of the units as their primary residence
- Manufactured homes that are permanently attached to land and are taxable as real estate
- Mobile homes that are not permanently attached to land
Properties that are not eligible are:
- Vacant or abandoned properties or properties that have no houses on them
- Second homes (not primary residences)
- Investment properties
- 1-4 unit properties where the homeowner/landlord has received Emergency Rental Assistance Funds.
How Can I Apply?
You can apply for MIHAF funding on the MIHAF MSHDA website.
In your application, you need to provide documentation to show all of the following things:
- Proof of Identification
- Proof of Social Security Number
- Proof of Household Income
- Proof of that you are behind on payments
For a list of documents that you can use for each of these categories, review the MIHAF Acceptable Documentation List