Frequently Asked Questions
Learn more about the Oregon Homeowner Assistance Fund.
About the Program
The U.S. Department of the Treasury allocated $90 million to Oregon under the American Rescue Plan Act’s Homeowner Assistance Fund. Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) will prevent foreclosures and displacements by providing financial assistance to homeowners at risk of losing their homes due to delinquencies and defaults. Eligible homeowners must meet income requirements and must have experienced financial hardship after January 21, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Homeowners may have also experienced hardship on or before that date, so long as they experienced a coronavirus pandemic-related hardship after that date. Other program requirements also apply. To find out if you are eligible for the program, please view the Eligibility & Timeline page.
The State of Oregon will receive about $90 million to launch the Oregon Homeowner Assistance Fund. This funding comes from the American Rescue Plan Act, which makes $9.961 billion available throughout the United States to help homeowners who are unable to pay their housing expenses due to the coronavirus pandemic. For more information on the American Rescue Plan Act Homeowner Assistance Fund, visit the U.S. Department of the Treasury website.
Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) opened the Homeowner Assistance Fund in phases and is prioritizing applications of homeowners who are most at risk of foreclosure.
Submitted applications will be reviewed for eligibility and processed using U.S. Treasury terms and guidance. Everyone who applies will have their application reviewed, and not everyone will receive assistance. For more information about how applications are prioritized, see the Prioritization Information page.
Oregon Housing and Community Services will never ask you to pay a fee to apply or get information. If you suspect fraud or misrepresentation of the Oregon Homeowner Assistance Fund, report your concern to us for immediate review. We reserve the right to decline funding or participation if it is determined that fraud has occurred.
Report fraud to:
– Oregon Housing and Community Services: Submit suspect behavior one of the following:
– Website: www.lighthouse-services.com/hcs.oregon
– Anonymous Reporting App:
– Detailed app instructions: Download.
– Keyword: hcs.oregon
– Toll-Free Telephone:
– English-speaking USA and Canada: 833-214-6434
– Spanish-speaking USA and Canada: 800-216-1288
– Spanish-speaking Mexico: 01-800-681-5340
– French-speaking Canada: 855-725-0002
– Contact us if you need a toll-free number for North American callers speaking languages other than English, Spanish, or French
– E-mail: email@example.com (must include company name with report)
– Fax: 215-689-3885 (must include company name with report)
– U.S. Department of the Treasury: Visit the Office of the Inspector General website for more information.
The program will open in phases, first focusing on homeowners who are most at risk of foreclosure or displacement. Homeowners may only apply during the phase in which they become eligible or any phase after that. For more details about phases and steps to apply, see the Timeline & Eligibility and How to Apply pages.
If you are at risk of foreclosure and would like to receive personalized housing counseling about your situation, or you would like application assistance with the Homeowner Assistance Fund Program, please contact a HAF intake partner.
Yes. Your mortgage servicer must participate in the program to receive assistance.
If your mortgage servicer is not on the list of currently enrolled servicers (English | Spanish), you are not eligible for assistance through this program. However, the agency is enrolling new servicers all the time, and we will continue to update the list. Servicer participation in this program is voluntary, so some servicers may choose not to participate.
Your mortgage lender is the financial institution that loaned you the money.
Your mortgage servicer is the company that sends you your mortgage statements. Your servicer also handles the day-to-day tasks for managing your loan.
Your mortgage servicer typically processes your loan payments, responds to borrower inquiries, keeps track of principal and interest paid, manages your escrow account (if you have one). The loan servicer may initiate foreclosure under certain circumstances. Your servicer may or may not be the same company that originally gave you your loan. Please review the list of currently enrolled servicers.
No. Funding is limited and applying for the program does not guarantee your application will be approved.
No. Receiving this relief will not impact your eligibility for any federally funded program such as food stamps, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infant, and Children (WIC). If you receive a benefit that is not federally funded, please check with the benefit administrator.
If you are approved, a confirmation email will be sent to the email address listed on your application. If you submitted your application through one of our community/housing counseling partners, that organization will notify you and inform you of the next steps to receive support.
If you are denied, you will receive a notice in the mail from Oregon Housing and Community Services. You will have 14 days to appeal the decision, if applicable.
After your application is approved, you will receive an approval letter from OHCS. Please read the approval letter carefully. Once the Homeowner Assistance Fund loan documents are prepared, they will be sent to a HAF intake partner who will assist you with signing and returning the HAF loan documents.
Please make sure to sign before a notary and return the HAF loan documents to the intake partner assigned to assist you with the loan closing within 14 days of being contacted by the intake partner.
You may be able to sign your loan documents electronically. OHCS may be available to help you with online or in-person signing opportunities.
Please email the Appeals Team at firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information about why your application was denied or withdrawn, or why the funding was terminated. You must request an appeal within 14 days from the date of your notice. See the notice mailed to you for instructions on how to submit an appeal.
Applicants are all borrowers and all owners of the property who live at the property.
Yes, you may apply for HAF if you’ve already modified your mortgage or are in forbearance with your mortgage servicer. If you do not know whether you’re a modification or forbearance, contact your servicer (contact information available on your mortgage statement).
You may not apply if you are currently applying for a modification or in active loss-mitigation review. Based on U.S. Treasury guidance, you may not apply for HAF if you are being reviewed for loss-mitigation options by your mortgage servicer. The HAF program is not supposed to replace loss-mitigation options that are available. In addition, your servicer may not be willing to participate in the program due to the current or pending modification or forbearance.
By participating in the Homeowner Assistance Fund, you may become ineligible for modification or forbearance options that would help you. OHCS encourages all homeowners to learn about their options from their servicers or a Oregon housing counselor.
Household income includes the combined gross income of everyone living in the home ages 18+ who contribute to the mortgage or other housing costs.
Rental Income: Please include rental income you or someone in your household receives but not the gross income of a paying tenant. If you applied for or received Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA), please report that income and provide a letter of explanation about any ERA application or assistance.
Yes. If you have experienced financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic, including inability to pay housing expenses, you may be eligible.
The Oregon Homeowner Assistance Fund relief comes in the form of a five-year, no-interest, forgivable loan. There are no fees to get the loan. The loan is recorded with the county as a junior mortgage on your property. Five years after your final assistance payment, Oregon Housing and Community Services forgives the entire loan. If you sell your home or refinance it for cash within five years, you may have to repay the portion of the loan that has not yet been forgiven, plus the county title recording fees.
If you commit fraud, provide false information on your application, or fail to provide income or hardship documentation when requested, Oregon Housing and Community Services will not forgive your loan, and you must repay it when you sell or refinance your home. You may also be subject to criminal prosecution or civil penalties.
Oregon Housing and Community Services sends electronic payments directly to your mortgage servicer, property tax authority, homeowners’ association, or other housing entity.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published guidance that says assistance payments made to homeowners under the American Rescue Plan Act Homeowner Assistance Fund are not considered gross income for federal tax purposes, but instead qualify as disaster relief payments. Revenue Procedure 2021-47 also provides guidance on how to manage your mortgage interest deductions if you receive assistance. Oregon Housing and Community Services anticipates the IRS will add this guidance to the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction and Tax Information for Homeowners publications for use in preparing 2021 and subsequent returns.
Program participants are responsible for understanding the tax implications outlined in the guidance. Oregon Housing and Community Services cannot provide tax advice. For additional information, contact the IRS or a tax professional.
Find more resources by visiting the Resources page.