$325 Million Program for Struggling Homeowners to Launch February 8

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MORRIS COUNTY — On February 8, the State of New Jersey will launch the Emergency Rescue Mortgage Assistance Program (ERMA), a federally financed program for homeowners who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible homeowners may receive up to $35,000, plus free housing counseling services, to cover mortgage arrearages, delinquent property taxes, and other housing cost delinquencies.

This lifeline makes loss mitigation options, such as refinancing, a viable option.

ERMA, which is being administered by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA), utilizes $325.9 million of federal Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) money under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

ERMA will also provide free housing counseling services to help New Jersey homeowners apply for this program, guide them through all available options, and even work with their loan servicers to achieve the best outcome available for their families. These counselors will also ensure that the process is accessible to those without access to the Internet or those having difficulties navigating the process.

Click here to review program eligibility guidelines and sign up for program updates.

To qualify for the ERMA program, homeowners must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a New Jersey homeowner with a demonstrated COVID-19-related financial hardship occurring after January 20, 2020
  • Own and occupy an eligible primary residence
  • Have an income below 150% of their Area Median Income (AMI).

NJHMFA will provide the centralized application intake platform, eligibility review, and payment of assistance, which will be made directly to the servicer.

Housing counselors are available to assist homeowners with applications or understand all available options. ERMA applications can be submitted using a personal computer, laptop, smartphone, or tablet, or call (855) 647-7700 to be put in touch with a housing counselor.

The ERMA application portal will open for applications click here on February 8, 2022, at 9:00 a.m.

NJHMFA will work to accommodate homeowners with disabilities as well as to assist applicants with limited English proficiency. The application portal is available in many languages. Applicants seeking accommodations should contact NJHMFA at (855) 647-7700 for assistance.

To receive updates and notifications on the program via email and/or text, visit the NJHMFA HAF page and complete the “Receive HAF Update Notifications” form by clicking here.

NEW JERSEY HOUSING AND MORTGAGE FINANCE AGENCY

NJHMFA, an independent agency of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, is a statewide and national leader in providing and advocating for affordable housing and homeownership. The Agency provides financing to developers to create quality homes and provides mortgage loans down payments and closing cost assistance to help homebuyers achieve their dream of homeownership. For more information about NJHMFA programs, click here.