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Iowa Finance

Iowa Finance Authority Releases $220k to Help Homeowners

Finance Authority

The Iowa Finance Authority has received many applications through its Iowa Homeowner Foreclosure Assistance Program and has approved around 1000 applications.

The amount of $220,000 released so far included the application approval of 126 of 513 applications that were submitted via the program since it restarted on March 29, as told by Ashley Jared, Iowa Finance Authority Communications Director. In the year 2020, the agency was able to help over 800 residents to avoid foreclosure.

“The Governor allocated approximately $2 million in CARES Act funds to keep this program available to homeowners,” Jared said. “It will remain available until the funds are exhausted or the new Federal Housing Assistance Fund Program opens for applications.”

To get the funds, homeowners must face a risk of foreclosure in an event of COVID-19 associated financial losses that may have occurred since March 13, 2020. Their household income should not be more than 80% of the area meridian earning. Households that are eligible can receive mortgage assistance of around four months or $3600, starting from April 1, 2020 mortgage payment.

We’ve since opened our eligibility to include this mortgage type and are taking a second look at those applications now, so this number of households assisted through the program is expected to climb in the coming weeks,” Jared said.

According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the federal American Plan, 2021 has assigned an extra minimum of $50 million to Iowa through the Homeowner Assistance Fund to avoid homeowner mortgage foreclosures, defaults, delinquencies, loss of energy or utility services, and any displacements of homeowners who are going through financial difficult post-Jan 21, 2020.

Jared said the agency is currently working on the development of the program. Following public input sessions, the Iowa Finance Authority intends to submit a proposed plan to the U.S. Department of the Treasury “for approval no later than August 30.” The program would launch in fall 2021, pending the Treasury’s approval.

The Iowa Association of Realtors reported in its May monthly indicators the median sales price for a single-family detached home in Iowa increased 7.3% from May 2020 ($182,750) to May 2021 ($196,000). The inventory of single-family detached homes for sale decreased 30.2% over that time period.

“With such limited supply of existing homes to purchase, all eyes are on home builders to provide a much-needed boost of inventory to the market to help meet buyer demand,” the report said. “However, increasing material and labor costs, along with supply chain challenges, have contributed to significantly higher construction costs, with builders passing these costs on to homebuyers. And while the warmer temperatures, rising sales prices, and the reopening of the economy may draw more sellers to the market, historically low levels of homes for sale are likely to continue for some time.”

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