In August, Georgia officials are expected to roll out a massive program aimed at helping homeowners avoid foreclosure. 

The $354 million program, supported by federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act funds and administered by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), is anticipated to provide a lifeline to residents who might be delinquent on their mortgage payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

DCA officials are still awaiting guidance from the Treasury Department before launching an application portal for the mortgage assistance program, although DCA deputy commissioner Tonya Cureton Curry said the operation will resemble Georgia’s Hardest Hit Fund, which helped residents with housing-related expenses as the state recovered from the Great Recession. 

Although Georgia received money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help people weather the financial side effects of the public health crisis, none of that was dedicated to housing assistance, Curry said. Instead, local governments and other jurisdictions allocated CARES money they received toward mortgage and rental assistance programs. 

This $354 million will mark the first batch of federal pandemic recovery money to be deployed by state officials for mortgage relief.

Georgia claimed among the most U.S. Treasury Department funding from the more than $9 billion initiative, trailing only New York, Florida, Texas, Illinois and California, the last of which secured roughly $1.06 billion.

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