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A statewide relief program for homeowners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic is being pushed by the Llano County Tax Assessor’s Office. The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is handling funds provided by the American Rescue Plan Act to prevent foreclosures caused by the pandemic.

“I don’t think very many people have known about it,” said Kris Fogelburg, Llano County tax assessor-collector.

The American Rescue Plan Act was passed in March 2021 to provide support to communities affected by the pandemic. State and local governments were given a total of $1.9 trillion to bolster the struggling economy. Among the programs funded by ARPA was mortgage delinquency caused by the pandemic.

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is managing the Home Assistance Fund, which amounts to $842 million allocated to the state from ARPA funding. 

“Homeowners that have delinquent taxes can apply to the program,” Fogelburg said. “If they qualify, TDHCA will send a check for the delinquent amount to this office (Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office) so that the homeowner avoids foreclosure. The payment is a grant and not a loan.”

To qualify for the program, homeowners must show they have fallen behind on one or more payments, including mortgage payments, property taxes, property insurance, or HOA/Condo Association fees. You must be at or below the Llano County Annual Median Household Income, which was $58,941 in 2020. You must own and occupy a home in Texas as your primary residence. Your household must have experienced financial hardships such as lost income or increased expenses due to the pandemic after Jan. 21, 2020.

Applicants will need personal identification, a form of income verification, and proof of delinquency on a qualifying payment.

To learn more about the program, visit texashomeownerassistance.com or call 833-651-3874.

“It really is a great program, and I encourage all homeowners who may have delinquent taxes to apply,” Fogelburg said. 

dakota@thepicayune.com