$50 million homeownership program set to help DC residents

As housing costs rise, there’s a new program in D.C. aimed at making sure residents can afford to stay in their homes.

The Homeowner Assistance Fund gives eligible low-income residents access to $50 million to help reduce the burden of housing-related payments, including mortgage payments, homeowners association fees, insurance and utility costs.

Some requirements residents must meet include financial hardship due to COVID-19, and the home must be owner-occupied. Residents must also make less than 100% of the median family income, or $142,300 for a family of four. Interested applicants must also have fallen behind on one or more of the eligible expenses to be considered.

In a statement, Mayor Muriel Bowser said the program adds another resource to the District’s homeownership tool kit.

“Homeownership is a critical tool for helping residents stay and build wealth in D.C.,” Bowser said. “That’s why we’re increasing our down payment assistance program, why we launched the Black Homeownership Strike Force, why we have the Safe At Home program, and now, why we are launching this Homeowner Assistance Fund.

“All of these programs together is how we give more Washingtonians a fair shot,” she said.

Bowser said she has been working alongside the DC Department of Housing and Community Development to make the program possible.

Funding for the program was made possible through the American Rescue Plan after a successful pilot run in Ward 7 and Ward 8 last October. The pilot distributed nearly $500,000 in assistance. Of the 110 approved applicants, 79% identified as Black, all were at or below 100% median family income, and one-third qualified as socially disadvantaged.

The program opens to residents on June 22. Residents can call 202-540-7407 on Monday through Friday to speak with a housing counselor to schedule an appointment.

More information can be found on the Homeowner Assistance Fund’s website.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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