Program Helps Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure; Kirk, Durbin Led Charge to Include Hardest Hit Fund Program Funding in FY16 Omnibus
CHICAGO – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) today joined Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer and the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) to announce the re-opening of the Illinois Hardest Hit Fund program (HHF). Starting August 1, the program will provide mortgage assistance to families struggling to make mortgage payments due to loss of income.
Also in attendence were Kristin Faust, President of the Neighborhood Housing Service of Chicago (NHS), and Torian Anderson, a Chicagoland mother who has benefited from the HHF program.
“Keeping families, like Torian’s, in their homes through the mortgage assistance program strengthens Illinois communities and our economy,” said Senator Kirk. “The Hardest Hit Fund program is crucial for transforming vacant and dilapidated buildings that attract crime and block economic growth.”
“When a home goes into foreclosure, the family suffers and the entire neighborhood is impacted. It has become clear that we still have work to do to address the problems in the housing market and bring stability back to our communities,” U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said. “I supported the creation and funding of the Hardest Hit Fund at the height of the housing crisis, and I continue to support the program today. I encourage those that find themselves on the brink of foreclosure or struggling to make their mortgage payments to take advantage of these programs.”
Ms. Anderson, of North Lawndale, lost her job unexpectedly in 2008 while she was pregnant with her youngest child. She was at risk of losing her home until she learned about the mortgage assistance program offered by IHDA. Using funds secured through HHF, Torian and her family were able to stay in their home.
“I would like to thank Senator Kirk, Senator Durbin, Commissioner Gainer and staff at NHS for helping programs like Illinois Hardest Hit come to Illinois,” said Ms. Anderson. “I was faced with foreclosure and didn’t know how I was going to keep my home to raise my children when I learned about Illinois Hardest Hit. Through this program, I was able to get on my feet, gain employment, save my home and provide for my children.”
This year, Illinois received an additional $269 million in HHF funding to transform communities that have been hardest-hit since the 2008 financial criss. The U.S. Treasury Department’s program assists struggling homeowners who have had an income reduction due to unemployment or underemployment. Senators Kirk and Durbin led the charge for these funds to be included in the Omnibus Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2016, which was signed into law in December 2015. HHF is designed and administered in Illinois by IHDA. Illinois is one of 18 states that are eligible to apply for these funds.
“Under the previous allocation of HHF, IHDA provided $345 million in mortgage assistance to help 14,000 households avoid foreclosure,” IHDA Executive Director Audra Hamernik said. “We are thrilled that IHDA was approved by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to administer additional HHF, allowing us to relaunch the mortgage assistance program and build on our previous success.”
For those interested in mortgage assistance through HHF, free applications for the program are available online through IHDA’s Illinois Hardest Hit website: https://www.illinoishardesthit.org/. The program will be open for applications on Monday, August 1.