NIFA providing relief to homeowners

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) – The Nebraska Investment Finance Authority is assisting homeowners with a program to help those experiencing financial hardship stemming from the pandemic. Applicants can receive up to $40,000 in assistance through the American Recovery Act.

“The homeowner assistance fund, which is the name of the fund,” said Executive Director, Shannon Harner. “It is intended to help prevent foreclosure of property for homeowners in Nebraska. Our target of helping people is people who at one hundred percent of the area median income or below.”

The NIFA program will also assist homeowners with utility payments. The design of the program is to keep as many homeowners as possible in their homes.

“Those homeowners may or may not have been able to continue making their house payments,” said Harner. We know that housing people is a really critical thing. And we don’t want people to become homeless. We don’t want people to lose, you know potential equity they had in their house.”

Harner said the program’s meaning goes deeper than just saving homes, explaining that a house is usually a long-term investment.

“The impact actually is going to be generational,” said Harner. “Because if you have someone who lost their home and then they’ve lost the potential for wealth building. Homeownership is a really important piece of that puzzle for building wealth.”

Homeowners still have plenty of time to apply for assistance, with the deadline set for February 2025.

“In a perfect world if somebody does the application and they provide everything that they need the first time around on their application,” said Harner. “It’s going to go through our initial underwriting. It’s going to go through a second level of underwriting and then we’ll let them know that they’re approved.”

The application process takes between 15-20 days on NIFA’s side. After being approved NIFA has to send an I-record to the applicant’s lender for approval. Once that step is complete NIFA will pay the balance in full.

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