|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
|Media Contact: Arlyne Alston
OHIO RECEIVES AN ADDITIONAL $148 MILLION IN FEDERAL FORECLOSURE PREVENTION ASSISTANCE FROM THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY
COLUMBUS – The Obama Administration today announced that the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) will receive an additional $148 million through the Housing Finance Agency (HFA) Innovation Fund for the Hardest-Hit Housing Markets (the Hardest-Hit Fund). Ohio is one of 17 states and the District of Columbia that will share $2 billion in new federal assistance to help homeowners. The funding is being allocated to states that have experienced sustained unemployment rates at or above the national average over the last 12 months.
OHFA will use the funding to help unemployed and underemployed homeowners pay their mortgage as they seek work, expanding unemployment bridge loan programs under general requirements established by the U.S. Department of Treasury. Ohio's Hardest-Hit Fund proposal was approved by Treasury on August 4 and includes four program options for struggling homeowners including: Rescue Payment Assistance, Partial Mortgage Payment Assistance, Modification Assistance with Principal Reduction and Transitional Assistance. Ohio received the fourth-largest allocation of $148 million, all of which must be used for the Partial Mortgage Payment Assistance program to provide temporary assistance for unemployed homeowners while they seek re-employment or train for a new job. Ohio was previously allocated $172 million through HHF on March 29 for a total of $320 million.
"This additional federal funding from the Obama Administration will be a huge help to Ohio families and children in need," Ohio Governor Ted Strickland said. "The Ohio Hardest-Hit Fund plan is dedicated to keeping thousands of Ohioans in their homes and we will be able to assist far more people with the increase in funding."
OHFA will continue working with the Save the Dream Ohio partners and organizations throughout the state to administer the federal funds. Save the Dream Ohio, introduced in March 2008, is a unique, multi-agency program. It works with 37 HUD-certified housing counseling agencies as well as legal aid societies and pro-bono associations to help Ohioans facing foreclosure receive the help they need.
"OHFA and Save the Dream Ohio partners have worked very hard to reach homeowners who are struggling to stay in their homes. We are pleased that Treasury recognized the outstanding potential of Ohio's plan to help unemployed and underemployed borrowers by awarding us an additional $148 million in funding," said Kimberly Zurz, Director of the Ohio Department of Commerce and the OHFA Board Chairperson. "These directed resources will make a significant impact across the state and help thousands of people who desperately need assistance while they are looking for jobs."
Additional states to receive funding include: Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Tennessee. The program will provide additional funds to nine of the 10 HFAs already participating in the Hardest-Hit Fund including: California, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island and South Carolina.
"Through OHFA's partial mortgage loan payment program, this funding will provide stability to struggling borrowers and to Ohio's housing market," said OHFA Executive Director Doug Garver. "Having additional resources will provide even more options for families facing the devastation of foreclosure."
The Ohio HHF plan will launch September 27, 2010 but borrowers who are in need of immediate assistance should visit the Save the Dream Ohio website at www.savethedream.ohio.gov or call the toll-free hotline at 888-404-4674.
OHFA utilizes federal and state resources to provide housing opportunities for families and individuals through programs designed to create, preserve, and manage affordable housing throughout the State of Ohio. The Agency is a self-supporting quasi-public agency governed by an eleven-member board, nine of whom are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Two additional seats on the board, by statute, are reserved for the Director of Development and the Director of Commerce, or their designees, and both serve as ex officio voting members.
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