New State Program To Help Owners Pay Delinquent Assessments

Homeowners experiencing financial hardship after January 21, 2020 or a hardship that began before January 21, 2020 that continued after that date because of the pandemic, have a new potential lifeline through the State of Michigan. The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), recently announced the Michigan Homeowner Assistance Fund Program (MIHAF), a federally funded program intended to mitigate homeowners financial hardships by providing funds to eligible entities. These eligible entities include mortgage-loan servicers, mortgage holders, County Treasurers, land contract vendors, condominium associations, homeowners associations or public utility providers.

The program has launched and has over $200,000,000.00 set aside to assist homeowners. Funds would focus on addressing homeowner’s delinquent mortgage and housing expenses, property taxes, condominium assessments, homeowners’ association assessments, homeowner’s insurance, utilities and internet services. This program appears to be somewhat similar to the assistance previously provided by MSHDA via the “Step Forward” program that closed down in early 2021. In both cases, the homeowner seeking assistance, as well as the eligible entity or “Provider” must jointly apply for participation in the program. This application process involves providing documentation and executing various agreements and forms for consideration by the Program. To streamline this process, MSHDA is developing an online and mobile application portal.

Some notable aspects of MIHAF include a maximum assistance limit per household amount of $25,000.00, and in cases of paying association assessments in particular, a limit of $10,000.00. We recently received confirmation from MSHDA that not only are condominium associations eligible, but homeowners associations and their members are also eligible to apply for this program. The Program is currently set to end on September 30, 2026 or until the funding for the Program is exhausted.

Owners in a financial hardship since January 21, 2020, as well as their condominium or homeowners association should be aware of this Program’s existence and its potential to eliminate delinquencies. While there remain some aspects of MIHAF that are not yet clear as it begins operations, such as how easily applicants will be approved, Makower Abbate Guerra Wegner Vollmer PLLC will continue to monitor this Program and assist clients whom wish to become participants.