Eighteen states, including California, have been designated as “hardest hit,” either because they are struggling with unemployment rates at or above the national average or steep home price declines since the housing market downturn. The Hardest Hit Fund® was provided by the federal government to provide targeted aid to families in these states.
On June 23, 2010, California received approval to develop unique foreclosure prevention proposals with Hardest Hit funding. California was ultimately awarded nearly $2 billion in funds to help eligible California homeowners avoid preventable foreclosures.
California’s programs, which are collectively called Keep Your Home California, were developed in collaboration with numerous community partners, foreclosure counselors, housing advocates and others directly involved in helping struggling homeowners.
Each of the Keep Your Home California programs is designed to address one or more aspects of the current housing crisis by doing the following:
- Helping low and moderate income homeowners retain their homes if they either have suffered a financial hardship such as unemployment, have experienced a change in household circumstance such as death, illness or disability, or are subject to a recent or upcoming increase in their monthly mortgage payment or are at risk of default because of an economic hardship coupled with a severe decline in their home’s value.
- Creating a simple, effective way to get federal funds to assist low and moderate income homeowners who meet one or all of the objective criteria described above. Speed of delivery will be balanced with fulfillment of the specific program’s mission and purpose.
- Creating programs that have an immediate, direct economic and social impact on low and moderate income homeowners and their neighborhoods.
No one has easy answers or immediate solutions to California’s housing crisis. One step in the right direction, however, is Keep Your Home California.