Key Pandemic Homeowner Assistance Program Ending

May 4, 2023

- By The MAR Legal Team

The Massachusetts Homeowner Assistance Fund (Mass HAF) will be winding down in coming months. The program was created by a $10 billion allocation to states in the American Rescue Plan Act. It provided Massachusetts with $179 million to help homeowners facing foreclosure due to COVID-19 impacts. The program has been highly successful paying out over $87 million on behalf of homeowners and helping to stop or pause over 171 foreclosure sales. Over 90% of assisted homeowners were under 100% of area median incomes (AMI) and roughly half are BIPOC households.  

With funding dwindling and the impacts of COVID-19 decreasing, the program will be wrapping up this summer. The deadline for all new applications on June 30, 2023. After that, eligible homeowners can still access assistance through the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program, which will pay up to $7,000 per household to prevent foreclosure or utility shutoff. That’s significantly less than the HAF program, which at one time was uncapped and later adopted a $50,000 cap. The average HAF payment is roughly $14,000. Eligibility will also be changed under RAFT. Homeowners will no longer have to demonstrate COVID-19 impacts, but RAFT only serves homeowners at or below 50% of AMI, while HAF serves households at up to 150% AMI.