Union County officials announced today that starting Tuesday, February 8th, registration will open for a new Emergency Rescue Mortgage Assistance (ERMA) program from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) to assist homeowners with mortgage and other housing costs that may have occurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While there appear to be signs that we are starting to return to normal in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, uncertainties and financial strains created by the crisis remain,” Said Commissioner Chair Rebecca Williams. “We often see many assistance programs for renters; however, homeowners are also struggling with their mortgages, property taxes and other rising or past housing costs. This program is here to help them.”
The ERMA program provides up to $35,000 in assistance to cover mortgage arrearages and other housing cost delinquencies for eligible homeowners negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This can help protect thousands of homeowners from foreclosures and neighborhoods from being impacted.
The ERMA application portal opens on Tuesday, February 8 at 9:00 a.m. Residents can access the application portal at https://njerma.com. To qualify for the ERMA program, homeowners must meet the following requirements:
- Be a New Jersey homeowner with a demonstrated COVID-19 related financial hardship occurring after January 20, 2020;
- Own and occupy an eligible primary residence;
- Have an income at or below 150% of their county’s Area Median Income (AMI).
Second homes and investment properties are not eligible. Eligible expenses include mortgage payments, escrow shortages, unpaid property taxes, tax liens, defaults, foreclosures and utility or home energy services. Homeowners can also receive up to four future mortgage payments, including principal, interest, taxes and homeowner’s insurance. To qualify, your mortgage or other housing costs must not have been delinquent before January 21, 2020.
Once the ERMA portal opens, residents will be able to submit an ERMA application using a personal computer, laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Housing counselors are available NOW to assist homeowners that need help understanding all available options and through the application process once it opens. Any resident who needs support or has any questions should call (855) 647-7700 or HAFservicing@njhmfa.gov.