Shaheen measure would expand homeowner assistance in pandemic
U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, is among four Democratic senators who have reintroduced legislation that would create a $75 billion federal Homeowner Assistance Fund that is designed to help prevent avoidable foreclosures, evictions and utility shutoffs.
Under the measure, funding would be allocated in part based on a formula that weighs state unemployment claims relative to the number of national unemployment claims. The goal is to direct targeted foreclosure prevention assistance to households and neighborhoods in states hit hard by the economic and housing market downturn.
By establishing the fund, Shaheen said, “this legislation will help relieve the financial strain families are experiencing amid this crisis and support our economic recovery.”
The legislation would expand on this model by providing a flexible source of federal aid to all state-level housing finance agencies, such as the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority, to help people who have experienced Covud-19 hardships keep up with housing payments and stay in their homes while they search for new employment or wait to get back to work.
Financial assistance could go toward mortgage relief, utility and Internet payments and other support to prevent eviction, mortgage delinquency, default or foreclosure, according to the proposal.
Other sponsors of the bill are Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Patrick Leahy of Vermont.