SANTA CRUZ, CA — California expanded its mortgage relief program this month to offer support to those who are still falling behind on their payments as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, officials announced.
Most California families might be surprised to find out that they meet their county's income requirement for mortgage help. For example, a family of four in San Francisco could earn $279,600 and still be eligible for up to $80,000 in help. In Riverside County, the same family could earn $132,000 while In Orange County a family's household income could be as high as $203,250 to qualify.
For example, in Santa Cruz County, the median household income is $251,950. If an applicant's household income is at or below that amount, they may be eligible for funding.
In Santa Cruz, residents can calculate their area's median income by using the program's AMI Calculator here.
The program was amended to include homeowners who missed payments in the first half of 2022. It also expanded its income eligibility and will now cover past-due property taxes for a wider group of homeowners, according to a news release from the program.
Homeowners who miss at least two payments before June 30 may now be eligible for full reimbursement for missed housing payments for up to $80,000, officials said. Before this change, homeowners had to have missed at least two payments before the program's launch on Dec. 27, 2021.
"Many California homeowners, like many renters, felt the impact of COVID-19 on their household finances, putting them at risk of losing the homes they've worked so hard for," said Lourdes Castro Ramírez, Secretary of the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency in a release.
What's more, funding for past-due property taxes will extend to mortgage-free homeowners and those whose mortgage payments are current, according to the program. Newly eligible homeowners could receive up to $20,000 to cover past-due property taxes if they missed at least one payment before May 31.
Since the program first launched, more than $68 million has been distributed to some 1,900 California homeowners struggling from the economic fallout spurred by the pandemic.
There's currently no deadline for applications, but homeowners in need are urged to apply as soon as possible at CaMortgageRelief.org. The program can also be contacted at 1-888-840-2594.