Obama Gives $3B To Jobless Homeowners

The Obama administration announced Wednesday that as part of an ongoing effort to stabilize housing markets it will send a $3 billion lifeline to jobless homeowners struggling to make mortgage payments. Remember the Peggy Joseph video:

Tapping into resources from the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, the Treasury Department will add $2 billion to its existing “Hardest Hit Fund,” assisting the 17 states that have unemployment rates higher than the national average, along with Washington D.C.

Obama established the Hardest Hit Fund in February 2010 to provide targeted aid to families in states hit hard by the economic and housing market downturn. The first five states to receive aid each experienced a 20 percent or greater decline in average home prices: Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Nevada.  The program was expanded to provide support to five states with high percentages of their population living in areas of economic distress due to unemployment: North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island and South Carolina.  Each state Housing Finance Agency (HFA) gathered public input and designed programs to meet the distinct challenges facing struggling homeowners in their state.

On June 23, the Obama Administration announced approval of state proposals put forward by Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) in Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Nevada for $1.5 billion in Hardest Hit Fund foreclosure-prevention funding. Each of these states had an average home price decline of over 20 percent since the housing market downturn.

Approved states will now begin to set up and roll out their specific Hardest Hit Fund programs in order to provide relief to struggling homeowners as soon as possible, with specific implementation timing depending on the types of programs offered, specific state-level procurement procedures, and other factors.

Each state’s approved Hardest Hit Fund proposal and contact information are available below. For more information about a state-specific proposal, please contact that state’s Housing Finance Agency.

On August 4, the Obama Administration announced approval of state proposals put forward by Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) in North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island and South Carolina for $600 million in Hardest Hit Fund foreclosure-prevention funding. This assistance will support local initiatives to assist struggling homeowners in these five states which have high percentages of their population living in areas of economic distress due to unemployment. These concentrations are defined as counties in which the unemployment rate exceeded 12 percent on average during 2009.  Each state HFA determined how to design programs and target resources to meet their distinct needs.

Approved states will now begin to set up and roll out their specific Hardest Hit Fund programs in order to provide relief to struggling homeowners as soon as possible, with specific implementation timing depending on the types of programs offered, specific state-level procurement procedures, and other factors.

Each state’s approved Hardest Hit Fund proposal and contact information are available below. For more information about a state-specific proposal, please contact that state’s Housing Finance Agency.

A new $1 billion program led by the Department of Housing and Urban Development will give homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure due to involuntary unemployment, underemployment, or a medical condition interest-free loans for as much as $50,000 for up to two years.

The two programs “will ultimately impact a broad group of struggling borrowers across the country and in doing so further contribute to the administration’s efforts to stabilize housing markets and communities across the country.

More than 4 million Americans have lost their job since the start of 2009, but the federal government continues to import more than 125,000 foreign workers every month. As of June 2009, nearly 26 million Americans were unemployed, had to settle for part-time work, or left the job market altogether.

Unemployment rate by State or District

State or District Unemployment rate
(seasonally adjusted)
Monthly percent change
(▲=rise in unemployment)
Nevada 14.2 ▲ 0.2%
Michigan 13.2 ▼ 0.4%
California 12.3 ▼ 0.1%
Rhode Island 12.0 ▼ 0.3%
Florida 11.4 ▼ 0.3%
Mississippi 11.0 ▼ 0.3%
South Carolina 10.7 ▼ 0.3%
Ohio 10.5 ▼ 0.2%
Oregon 10.5 ▼ 0.1%
Illinois 10.4 ▼ 0.4%
Alabama 10.3 ▼ 0.5%
Indiana 10.1 ▲ 0.1%
Tennessee 10.1 ▼ 0.3%
District Of Columbia 10.0 ▼ 0.3%
Georgia 10.0 ▼ 0.2%
Kentucky 10.0 ▼ 0.4%
North Carolina 10.0 ▼ 0.3%
Arizona 9.6 ▬ 0.0%
New Jersey 9.6 ▼ 0.1%
United States (national)[5] 9.5 ▼ 0.2%
Pennsylvania 9.2 ▲ 0.1%
Missouri 9.1 ▼ 0.2%
Massachusetts 9.0 ▲ 0.2%
Washington 8.9 ▼ 0.2%
Connecticut 8.8 ▼ 0.1%
Idaho 8.8 ▼ 0.2%
Delaware 8.5 ▼ 0.3%
West Virginia 8.5 ▼ 0.4%
New Mexico 8.2 ▼ 0.2%
New York 8.2 ▼ 0.1%
Texas 8.2 ▼ 0.1%
Colorado 8.0 ▬ 0.0%
Maine 8.0 ▬ 0.0%
Alaska 7.9 ▼ 0.4%
Wisconsin 7.9 ▼ 0.3%
Arkansas 7.5 ▼ 0.2%
Montana 7.3 ▲ 0.1%
Utah 7.2 ▼ 0.1%
Maryland 7.1 ▼ 0.1%
Louisiana 7.0 ▲ 0.1%
Virginia 7.0 ▼ 0.1%
Iowa 6.8 ▬ 0.0%
Minnesota 6.8 ▼ 0.2%
Oklahoma 6.8 ▲ 0.1%
Wyoming 6.8 ▼ 0.2%
Kansas 6.5 ▬ 0.0%
Hawaii 6.3 ▼ 0.3%
Vermont 6.0 ▼ 0.2%
New Hampshire 5.9 ▼ 0.5%
Nebraska 4.8 ▼ 0.1%
South Dakota 4.5 ▼ 0.1%
North Dakota 3.6 ▬ 0.0%

Under the Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund, California will receive $476 million, the most of any state. Florida and Illinois also top the list with almost $239 million and $166 million, respectively. Funds were allocated among the hardest hit states based on population size. The Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund, which was announced in February, initially extended $1.5 billion to five states. In March, $600 million was provided to five more states.

In its third round, the program makes funding available to Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington, D.C.

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