A couple of weeks ago, Florida state housing officials re-launched a fund for those who are perceived as struggling the most with their mortgages. Today, representatives from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation are accepting online applications for Florida’s Hardest-Hit Fund Principal Reduction program. The program aims to assist homeowners who have kept up with mortgage payments, and did not apply in 2013 for HHF-PR assistance. Therefore, those who previously applied but were not accepted, now have a new opportunity.
The Florida HHF-PR program aims to offer up to $50,000 to those homeowners who owe at least 125 percent more on their home than its current market value. In other words, for those who have a home known as being “underwater.”
While this is good – and most welcome – news for Florida state housing and its homeowners, the move has not come without criticism. This is due to the fact that over 6,000 Floridians who have kept up with their payments are not being considered eligible for such a program that is dipping into the same federal money source.
One real estate consultant in the region, Jack McCabe, said it was “dead wrong” to help to help people who have reneged on their payments and that it should be those who have kept up on payments that are getting preference for any “mortgage reduction program” available.
Four years ago, in conjunction with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the federal government put $7.6 billion into the Hardest Hit Fund for states poorly affected by the housing crisis. Florida received more than $1 billion from the fund.