PAHAF stands for the Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund. This program was created through funds from the American Rescue Plan to help Pennsylvania homeowners who have been unable to pay their mortgage, taxes, and/or some other housing related debts because of COVID-19. The program, which began statewide on February 1, 2022, is administered by Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) and managed by Innovating Emergency Management (IEM). PHFA announced in November 2022 that program caps were increasing to better serve the needs of homeowners. Initially the total maximum payment allowed was up to $30,000, and that has been increased to $50,000.
In addition to the total payment increase, PHFA also raised the limits for payments towards past due taxes, utilities, or property bills such as homeowner association fees. There are also funds available for past due taxes and utilities for homeowners, whether or not they have a mortgage or other property related debts. The maximum total assistance is now $50,000, with limits for delinquent property taxes of $14,000, utilities capped at $10,000, property charges up to $5,000, and reverse mortgage insurance costs up to $3,000 dollars.
In addition, for homeowners who are not delinquent in their mortgage, but have housing payments of more than 40% of available income, six months of future payments are available. Previously, future mortgage payments were only available if the homeowner was delinquent, and that requirement has been eliminated.
To be eligible for assistance, the homeowner must live in the home as their primary residence, have experienced financial difficulties due to COVID-19, and meet income and other eligibility requirements. NPLS has FAQs about PAHAF and mortgage foreclosure resources on our website, so please see the links below.
PHFA released its third quarter PAHAF state legislative report on November 15, 2022, which shows the total disbursed in Pennsylvania through September 30th of this year, and includes a breakdown by county. Of $350,000,000 total funding, as of the end of last quarter over $46,000,000 (46 million) dollars has been disbursed. (See: https://pahaf.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/PAHAF-Quarterly-State-Legislature-Report-Q3-2022-11-15-22.pdf)
Homeowners can only apply one time for assistance and we do not know how long these funds will last. If you need help and think you may be eligible, you should apply as soon as possible. You can apply directly online at https://pahaf.org/ or by telephone at 888-987-2423. You may also get help from NPLS or a local housing counselor to apply or for help with your application.