The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is offering homeowner assistance through the state’s homeowner assistance fund to help eligible homeowners with past due mortgage payments, property taxes and insurance, and delinquent homeowner association and condo association fees, according to Kristina Tirloni, senior communications adviser for the TDHCA.

Tirloni said the Texas homeowner assistance fund is money that was allocated to the state through the federal government’s American Rescue Plan Act in response to the pandemic. The fund has $840 million available and will offer assistance until the funds run out or until December 31, 2026, when the funds must be expended.

In a news release March 15, officials in Montgomery County notified residents of the new program to help homeowners with delinquent payments due to the pandemic to avoid foreclosure.

Tirloni said there are two categories of relief funds for eligible households. One is past due mortgage payments where eligible homeowners can receive up to $40,000 in relief funds. The other category is for past due property taxes, insurance or association fees where eligible homeowners can receive up to $25,000.

“If you need assistance and need to get help as soon as possible, we encourage you to apply,” Tirloni said in an interview.

As of a March 23 interview, Tirloni said the funds for property taxes and insurance are coming through more quickly than mortgage payments, which are taking 30 days or more to be applied to delinquent accounts. The funds are a grant and do not need to be repaid, according to a March 15 news release from Montgomery County.

“Homeowners that have delinquent taxes can apply to the program, and if they qualify, TDHCA will send a check for the delinquent taxes to my office to avoid foreclosure,” said Tammy McRae, Montgomery County tax assessor-collector, in the March 15 news release. “The payment is a grant, not a loan. I encourage all homeowners to apply who qualify and have delinquent taxes."

Eligibility requirements can be found on the TDHCA website and include owning and occupying a home in Texas and experiencing a financial hardship due to the pandemic.

Applications are only available online, but there is a toll-free number, 833-651-3874, to call for assistance applying or to answer questions.