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How to apply for California's mortgage relief fund

Humboldt County
Humboldt County

California has created a $1-billion mortgage relief fund to help low- to moderate-income homeowners who have fallen behind payments during the pandemic.

“Californians made incredible sacrifices throughout the pandemic — some falling behind on mortgage payments due to no fault of their own,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom. “We stepped in early to prevent foreclosures, but that debt didn’t disappear. Now, California is here to help.”

The following Q and A was created using online resources and the recorded press conference featuring Secretary of the California Business, Consumer Service and Housing Agency Lourdes Castro Ramirez and Congresswoman Maxine Waters announcing the fund.

What is the California Mortgage Relief Fund?

The state program offers one-time grants to qualified homeowners who have fallen behind on their housing payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund uses federal money and does not need to be paid back.

Who is eligible?

The program is open to California homeowners who:

  • Earn less than their county’s Area Median Income,
  • Own a single-family home, condo or permanently affixed manufactured home,
  • And faced a pandemic-related hardship after Jan. 21, 2020

Additionally, applicants must meet one of the following: receiving public assistance, spending more than 40 percent of income on housing, or having been denied an alternative mortgage workout option by their mortgage servicer.

How much assistance is available to me?

The program pays up to $80,000 dollars directly to mortgage companies on behalf of eligible households.

Where can I apply?

Apply Here:

Is this fund needed? Didn’t earlier funds help these people?

The state has offered assistance to the unhosed through its Roomkey and Homekey programs and provided rental assistance, but this is the first state program to assist homeowners during this pandemic. The federal government has also allowed mortgage moratoriums, but that debt remains for most.

Ed Fletcher is a multimedia journalist, filmmaker, and community leader who was born and raised in the Sacramento region. He attended Casa Roble High School in Orangevale before leaving to Louisiana to attend the historically black Southern University. In 2000, he returned as a staff writer at The Sacramento Bee.
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