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Florida's HAF Continues to Lead the Nation in Expediting Relief to State's Most Vulnerable Homeowners, Awards More Than $354 Million in Relief to Floridians

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Florida's HAF Continues to Lead the Nation in Expediting Relief to State's Most Vulnerable Homeowners, Awards More Than $354 Million in Relief to Floridians 

 
 ~ Weekly Update for the Homeowner Assistance Fund,
Week of August 29 - September 2 ~
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida's Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) continues to lead the nation in expediting relief to the state's most vulnerable homeowners and awarding more than $354 million in relief to Floridians. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has awarded assistance to more than 13,660 Florida homeowners for their mortgage and other homeowner expenses, with more than $11 million awarded this week alone.
 
"We are continuing to prevent active foreclosures, and now we are going even further to stretch every available dollar to reach even more homeowners – we anticipate helping 50 percent more homeowners than we initially thought possible by modifying forward payments to six months, instead of the previous 18 months. Florida homeowners have received more assistance and faster assistance than if they were to live in any other state in the nation – more than 300 dedicated staff are working hard to help administer this program," said DEO Secretary Dane Eagle. "DEO's effective, agile administration of this first-of-its-kind program is a model for the nation. DEO is working directly with homeowners' mortgage lenders and service providers to ensure HAF payments are applied correctly and timely to help Floridians catch up on their homeowner expenses, prevent foreclosures, and stay in their homes."
 
From day one, DEO has remained committed to assisting Florida homeowners with applying for relief through Florida's HAF program and providing technical assistance to ensure that homeowners were able to complete their applications for relief. Florida HAF's Customer Assistance Center has answered more than 127,000 incoming calls, assisting Floridians with their questions. Also, Florida HAF's Customer Assistance Center has made more than 26,000 outbound calls to respond to inquiries and ensure homeowners were able to find the link sent to them and access their application so they could complete their application.
 
For Florida homeowners with unmet needs, other resources are available to assist eligible individuals with utility bills and other homeowner expenses through the Community Services Block Grant, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program.
 
 
 
 
 
PROGRAM OUTREACH AND TRANSPARENCY
 
The state of Florida is running the most transparent HAF program in the nation. Various outreach and transparency initiatives have been undertaken through case management, earned and paid advertising, and information sharing on DEO's FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn accounts to encourage eligible Floridians to register or apply for assistance and to assist them throughout the registration and application process.
 
From May 1 through August 26, 2022, 863 outreach events were facilitated through: 
  • 414 information-sharing events. 
  • 300 high-traffic canvassing opportunities.  
  • 123 speaking engagements.  
  • 12 pop-up registration support events.
  • 1 virtual information session.
 
Florida's HAF program outreach efforts were coordinated with: 
  • Over 258 faith-based organizations that have broad reach across the state. 
  • Community-based organizations providing social services, such as senior centers, food pantries, congregate meal sites.
  • The Florida Department of Health’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity, which has Minority Health Liaisons in each of Florida’s 67 counties.
  • Fraternities and sororities that have a focus on community awareness and action through educational, economic, and cultural service activities.
  • The network of Florida Urban League Affiliates, providing services in 19 counties across the State of Florida, representing two-thirds of the State's population.
 
Additionally, DEO has taken the following steps to keep Florida HAF program applicants informed
  • May 6 - June 10, 2022, DEO sent out a weekly press release inviting homeowners to register for the program and provided details to homeowners on how to do so. 
  • Beginning June 10, 2022, to present, Florida HAF applicants receive an email on a weekly basis notifying them that their application was submitted and was under review. 
  • June 14 - July 25, 2022, DEO conducted an outbound call campaign to supplement email outreach to approximately 13,000 applicants who were invited to apply but who had not submitted their applications. 
  • June 17 - July 29, 2022, DEO sent out a weekly press release inviting homeowners to register and apply for assistance through the program and provided details on how to do so, and announcing that the last day to register for the program was July 30, 2022. 
  • On August 5, August 17, August 22, and August 25, 2022, DEO sent out an email correspondence to applicants who were invited to apply, but who had not completed and submitted their application, encouraging them to submit their application.
  • August 5 - August 26, 2022, DEO sent out a weekly press release inviting homeowners to apply for the program and provided details to homeowners on how to do so.
 
Based on the funds allocated to Florida, and our tremendous outreach to Floridians, the HAF program received more Tier 1 applications than funding allocated to Florida. While this is great news that we will spend all the available funds and maximize the number of Floridians served, this means we may not be able to serve every applicant. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
RESOURCES FOR APPLICANTS
 
To receive assistance with Florida's HAF program, HAF applicants and homeowners who have received funding may call the Homeowner Assistance Fund Customer Assistance Center at 833-987-8997 Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Eastern Time.
 
Additional resources for applicants are available at www.FLHomeownerAssistance.org
 
 
 
 
 
PREVIOUS PROGRAM UPDATES
 
  • On February 9, 2022, DEO received approval of the state of Florida's Homeowner Assistance Fund Needs Assessment and Plan from the United States Department of the Treasury (U.S. Treasury) to implement the state's HAF program for eligible homeowners. The Needs Assessment and Plan was submitted to the U.S. Treasury on August 20, 2021.
 
  • Prior to the approval of the state’s HAF Needs Assessment and Plan, DEO began utilizing 10 percent of the allocated funding to launch the Homeowner Assistance Fund Pilot Program in November 2021, in accordance with U.S. Treasury guidance. The state of Florida was one of 12 states to proactively launch a HAF Pilot Program while waiting for the U.S. Treasury to approve its Needs Assessment and Plan.
 
  • On February 28, 2022, DEO initiated Phase 2 of the HAF program by opening registration for prospective applicants. Applicants determined eligible through the registration process are currently receiving unique application links by email to apply for up to $50,000 in assistance.
 
  • On June 24, 2022, DEO reached a key milestone  awarding more than $100 million to assist Florida's vulnerable homeowners. 
 
  • On July 22, 2022, DEO announced more than $213 million in relief has been awarded to Floridians through the state's Homeowner Assistance Fund.
 
  • On July 30, 2022, DEO closed program registration to assist homeowners who have already completed their registration or are currently applying for assistance through the program. 
 
  • On August 26, 2022, DEO closed the program application to assist homeowners who have applied for assistance through the program.
 
 
 
ABOUT HAF
 
 
 
Florida's Homeowner Assistance Fund is designed to mitigate financial hardships associated with the COVID-19 pandemic by preventing homeowners’ mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures, and displacements, as well as by providing assistance with home energy services, internet, property and/or flood insurance, property taxes, and homeowner or condominium association fees. Eligible Florida homeowners may receive up to $50,000 in assistance.
 
 
 
ABOUT DEO
 
 
 
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity combines the state’s economic, workforce, and community development efforts, expediting economic development projects to fuel job creation in competitive communities and promote economic resiliency. For more information, including valuable resources for employers and job seekers, please visit www.FloridaJobs.org.
 
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Florida Department of Economic Opportunity 107 E. Madison Street Tallahassee, FL 32399 | 850.245.7110 | Media@DEO.MyFlorida.com | www.FloridaJobs.org
 
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