The state of Ohio was awarded $280 million from the U.S. Department of Treasury Homeowner Assistance Fund through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to provide assistance to eligible Ohio homeowners who are facing foreclosure or cannot afford to pay their mortgage, utility bills, or other housing-related costs as a result of economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ohio Housing Finance Agency has been appointed to operate the program, which in Ohio is called: Save the Dream Ohio: Help for Homeowners.
The Save the Dream Ohio program has two components: Mortgage Assistance, which is administered by OHFA, and Utility Assistance Plus, which is administered on OHFA's behalf by local Community Action Agencies and nonprofit organizations.
Through the Mortgage Assistance component of the program, OHFA can make payments directly to mortgage servicers to help eligible Ohio homeowners with delinquent mortgages and/or up to six months of future mortgage payments. While the amount of assistance may vary by household, an eligible household may receive up to $25,000 in mortgage assistance.
Homeowners that need assistance paying utility bills, non-escrowed property taxes, and other qualified housing costs may be eligible for assistance through the Utility Assistance Plus component of the program. A household may receive up to $10,000 in utility, property tax, and/or other housing-related expense assistance.
To be eligible for the Save the Dream Ohio, a household must:
- Be a homeowner with primary residence in Ohio;
- Have experienced a financial hardship, loss of income, or increase in expenses related to the pandemic after January 21, 2020; and
- Meet the program's annual income eligibility threshold, which is $147,600 for a family of four (a complete income chart is below).
Ohio homeowners should visit savethedream.ohiohome.org to learn more about the program or to start the mortgage assistance application process. Applicants also can call 888.404.4674.
The Save the Dream Ohio program is expected to continue through September 30, 2025 or until the available funding is depleted.
Homeowners are eligible to receive assistance if they experienced a financial hardship after January 21, 2020 and have incomes equal to or less than 150% of the area median income.
Notes: Based on the FY2021 Median Family Income in the Union County, OH HUD Metro FMR Area (i.e., the HUD Metropolitan Fair Market Rent/Income Limits Area (HMFA) with the highest median family income in Ohio). The income limit (IL) for HAF eligibility is set at 150% of median family income and adjusted for family size, based on HUD's methodology for family size adjustments. The 4-person family IL is considered to be equivalent to 150% of the median family income. Once the 4-person family IL has been established, income limits for other family sizes are calculated by applying a percentage adjustment to the final 4-person IL. Calculation of income limits for other family sizes is straight-forward. The 1-person family IL is 70% of the 4-person IL. The 2-person family IL is 80% of the 4-person IL, the 3-person family income limit is 90% of the 4-person IL, the 5-person family IL is 108% of the 4-person IL, the 6-person family IL is 116% of the 4-person IL, the 7-person family IL is 124% of IL and the 8-person family IL is 132% of the 4-person income limit. The resulting IL calculation for family sizes are then rounded up to the nearest $50 to produce the final IL. Optionally, for family sizes larger than 8 persons, the IL could be calculated by adding eight (8) percent per person to the next lower limit. For example, a 9-person family IL would be 140% (132% + 8%), and so on.
Additional information from the Department of Treasury is available by clicking here.
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