SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — The application process is now open for the new California Mortgage Relief Program that will provide $1 billion in federal funds to help homeowners dealing with pandemic-related financial hardship.

State officials want to make sure California homeowners are aware of the free relief program that will provide funds that they will not not be required to repay.

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Gov. Gavin Newsom last month confirmed that the federal government had approved his mortgage relief plan aimed at helping people who fell behind on their mortgage payments during the pandemic.

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The California Mortgage Relief Program uses federal Homeowner Assistance Funds to help homeowners get caught up on their housing payments and is part of the state’s Housing is Key initiative.

The program is open to all eligible Californians currently having pandemic-related financial difficulties making them fall behind on housing payments.

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Eligible applicants must be at or below 100% of their county’s Area Median Income, own a single-family home, condo or permanently affixed manufactured home and have faced a pandemic-related financial hardship between January 21, 2020, and December 27, 2021. They must also meet at least one of the following qualifications:

  • Receiving public assistance;
  • Severely housing burdened; or
  • Have no alternative mortgage workout options through your mortgage servicer.