Today, Congressman Heath Shuler (D-Waynesville) announced that the state of North Carolina will receive $120,874,221 to help homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages due to unemployment. North Carolina is one of 17 states, and the District of Columbia, selected to receive this additional assistance, due to higher than the national average unemployment rates.
"The economic recession has affected all of us in some way. Almost all of us know someone who has lost a job through no fault of their own and, as a result, has to make tough decisions about which bills to pay first," said Rep. Shuler. "This funding will help ensure that families have the tools and resources to keep their homes until our economy fully recovers and our unemployment rate returns to normal levels. North Carolina clearly demonstrated a need for this funding, and I'm glad to see that we're getting a significant portion of the total amount."
Assistance will be provided through targeted foreclosure-prevention programs such as the Housing Finance Agency (HFA) Innovation Fund for the Hardest Hit Housing Markets (the "Hardest Hit Fund") within the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Nationally, the Treasury is providing an additional $2 billion of assistance for HFA programs. The funds, under the discretion of the states, can be used for investments such as mortgage assistance or job training. In addition, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is planning to unveil a corresponding $1 billion Emergency Homeowners Loan Program which will provide up to 24 months of assistance to homeowners in jeopardy of foreclosure due to underemployment, unemployment, or a medical problem.