New IHFA Incentives

The Idaho Housing and Finance Association proclaimed it has received only 363 applications since announcing it had $13 million in federal emergency funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

This money is intended to provided zero interest loans of up to $50,000 for Idaho home owners in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure because of job loss, lack of employment, or medical conditions.

The director of the IHFA is speculating that many Idaho homeowners in financial trouble didn’t apply for the money because they thought it would already be gone. Those in the know find it highly more likely there were not more applications simply because no one even knew the money was available.

What leads one to think most Idahoans have NO idea the money even exists? Just 25 applications have been approved since the program was unveiled in April — committing just $993,185 of the $13 million.

Besides that the application process apparently is not an expedient one: IHFA spokeswoman Katrina Thompson said about 300 applications are still being reviewed. Reviewing them is no small task; unfortunately most of the 38 applications that have been rejected were because of incomplete documentation.

For Idaho homeowners that qualify, the program lends them enough money to get their mortgage current. If the amount is less than the $50,000 cap, the balance can be used to help pay the mortgage for up to 24 months.

The IHFA notes that HUD will forgive 20 percent of the loan per year if homeowners remain current on their mortgage for the next five years.The size of the loan is based on a needs assessed and approved by IHFA.

Idaho homeowners that are rejected for the program aren’t completely out of luck: they can still receive IHFA counseling on what other options exist for staying out of foreclosure. Idaho is full of homeowners in need of this kind of assistance as the Gem State has ranked among the top 10 states for per-capita foreclosures for over 2 years straight. Overall fewer foreclosures on the market will help move out the stagnant inventory and bolster home prices.

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