By Ashley Benkarski
NASHVILLE, TN — Residents of Tennessee are feeling the increasing pressures of falling behind on their mortgages due to hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the halting of forbearance programs meant to dampen the blow. To help, 501(c)3 nonprofit Affordable Housing Resources has recently announced two new mortgage assistance programs through the Tennessee Housing Development Agency and United Way of Greater Nashville.
Eligibility for the programs is based on federal guidelines; homeowners affected by illness, job loss or other economic challenges due to COVID-19 can apply for help with their mortgage payments.
TDHA’s program, the Housing Assistance Fund (HAF), is open to all Tennessee homeowners while the program offered by United Way is for Davidson County homeowners.
“Preserving your home is just as important as purchasing your home,” said AHR’s Eddie Latimer. He also said there are programs for homebuyer education, financial coaching and mortgage lending, such as the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that allows nonprofits and government agencies to act as a bank.
For potential homebuyers, the lending programs are offered with low down-payment rates, beginning at $10,000 with no debt service. Borrowers pay the principal back when they sell, Latimer said.
While buying a home in the current market is a difficult task, one piece of advice Latimer gives to those interested in buying or selling is to have a good real estate agent who specializes in your area.
The programs are expected to run throughout 2023.
Those interested in the HAF Mortgage assistance grants can begin the process directly on AHR’s website at https://ahrhousing.org/mortgage-assistance-grants/. A member of AHR’s team will reach out to help with next steps.
Latimer also encouraged interested parties to call 615-251-0025, extension 222.