Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis announced today they have partnered with Minnesota Homeownership Center to create and administer the Hennepin Homeownership Preservation Program (HHPP). HHPP is promoting foreclosure prevention advising to Hennepin County homeowners, and limited financial assistance may be available under certain circumstances. Application to the program can be made online at HennepinHPP.com, or by calling 651-236-8952.
“I’m thrilled to be able to offer this support to Hennepin County homeowners,” said Hennepin County Commissioner and Board Chair Marion Greene. “The pandemic has impacted people from many different backgrounds on many levels. This program will complement the tens of millions of dollars that have already been distributed to Hennepin County Renter households. Our homes are our refuge. Whether we rent or own, maintaining housing stability is critical to keeping our residents and their families safe. Our goal is to position our communities to emerge from this pandemic even stronger than when we entered it. Giving people the help they need to stay in their homes is paramount, and the Hennepin Homeownership Preservation Program will help residents get through this public health emergency while also building a strong foundation for long-term success.”
“The economic results of the pandemic have disproportionately impacted low-income residents of Minneapolis, and this program is a critical piece of our commitment to an equitable economic recovery plan,” said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. “In partnership with Hennepin County and Minnesota Homeownership Center, HHPP will provide up to $35,000 in assistance for eligible homeowners to get current on their mortgage. These investments will help mitigate the risks of losing a home to foreclosure in an already challenging financial time.”
Once eligibility for HHPP has been confirmed, applicants will be referred to a foreclosure prevention advisor with a Minnesota Homeownership Center network partner. These organizations include Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES), LSS Financial Counseling, Neighborhood Development Alliance, NeighborWorks Home Partners, PRG Inc. and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. Foreclosure prevention advising is required in order to be eligible for any potential financial assistance.
HHPP is providing limited financial assistance under the following conditions:
- Individual is experiencing a housing emergency, defined as being unable to pay a bill that may affect their ability to live in the home.
- Individual can self-certify they have experienced COVID-related financial loss such as loss of income, increased health care costs or additional costs associated with working from home.
- Individual owns an owner-occupied property in Hennepin County.
- Owner-occupied properties within the city limits of Eden Prairie, Bloomington and Plymouth are excluded from participation in HHPP as these cities have their own programs.
- Individual can self-certify they had a gross annual income of at or below 50 percent of Area Median Income (AMI) at the time a past due payment was missed.
- Individual must be able to demonstrate ability to pay housing expenses moving forward.
- Individual must participate in foreclosure prevention advising via the Minnesota Homeownership Center and its partners listed above.
Past due bills eligible for potential financial relief include the following, with due dates between Jan. 21, 2020 and 15 days after initial HHPP intake:
- Mortgage principle and interest payments
- Foreclosure prevention advisor will first work with the applicant to secure an affordable long-term loss mitigation strategy
- Property taxes and homeowners insurance (including escrow shortages)
- Homeowner Association dues
- Manufactured home lot rent and payments
- Contract for Deed payments
- Late fees and legal fees required to prevent foreclosure
- Garbage and water service bills
- Gas and electric bills are not eligible for relief under HHPP as they are eligible under other existing programs. Referrals will be made.
The maximum amount available to any household through HHPP is $35,000. Payments will be made directly to the entity owed the funds.
“The Minnesota Homeownership Center is proud to be partnering with Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis in preserving at-risk homeownership during this uneven economic recovery,” said Julie Gugin, Center president. “Since 2008, the Center and its network partner organizations have helped more than 38,000 Minnesota households avoid foreclosure. We’re committed to continuing this vital work, and to making sure at-risk homeowners know there’s free help available to navigate their situation.”