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New Relief Program Eases Financial Burdens for Homeowners

 5-MINUTE READ  March 14, 2024


Hamilton County commissioners have taken action to provide financial relief to homeowners who are struggling to keep up with their expenses. They've shifted over $700,000 in federal funds to support a program aimed at helping homeowners manage their mortgage payments, property taxes, and utility bills.

The commissioners decided to move $701,000 into a program that helps with mortgages, property taxes, and utilities. Now, there's a total of $1.4 million available in the county's Mortgage, Property Tax, and Utility Program to assist homeowners, especially as property taxes continue to rise.

Challenges and Solutions

Commission President Alicia Reece emphasized the importance of this help, understanding that many homeowners in the county are struggling. Many residents are worried about paying their bills, especially with property taxes going up significantly due to recent property value reassessments.

In 2023, property values in Hamilton County were re-evaluated, and it was found that they went up by an average of 28%. Because of this increase, property taxes also went up by 10.4%. This jump happened because the housing market was doing well, and there were changes in school district taxes, among other reasons.

To address this issue, Commissioner Denise Driehaus highlighted how important it is to act fast and be flexible in using funds to help homeowners who are facing difficulties.

Eligibility Criteria for Homeowner Assistance Program

To qualify for assistance,  homeowners need to meet specific requirements. They should live in their main home and have a household income below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level. 

For example, individuals earning less than $45,180 annually or households of three earning less than $77,460 qualify for assistance. 

Funding Source and Program Impact

Funding for this program comes from the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act, which gave federal funds to help communities deal with the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although Hamilton County got a lot of money from this plan, most of it has already been assigned or used up.

Since it started, about 1,000 residents have received help from the Mortgage, Property Tax, and Utility Program. Homeowners who need assistance can apply online or get in touch with United Way Care Navigators by calling 211.

➤ This initiative is all about helping homeowners who are struggling financially. Its goal is to make sure they can stay in their homes and keep getting the essential services they need.

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