Homeowner's Assistance Fund (HAF)

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Homeowner's Assistance Fund

Program Overview

The HAF program was established under section 3206 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the ARP) to mitigate financial hardships associated with the coronavirus pandemic by providing funds to eligible entities for the purpose of preventing homeowner mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacements of homeowners experiencing financial hardship on or after January 21, 2020, through qualified expenses related to mortgages and housing.

Not less than 60% of amounts made available for HAF program expenses will be used for qualified expenses to assist homeowners having incomes equal to or less than 100% of the area median income household limit in accordance with HUD’S FY HAF Income Limits adjusted annually in the spring. Any amount not made available to homeowners that meet this income-targeting will be used for qualified expenses to assist homeowners having incomes equal to or less than 150% area median income and will be prioritized for assistance to socially disadvantaged individuals as outlined in U.S. Department of the Treasury Guidance dated August 2, 2021. Program funds will be made available to assist all eligible homeowners on a first come, first served basis, and scheduled to end September 30, 2026, or when funds run out.  The maximum amount of Benefit is up to $20,000.

Homeowner's Assistance Fund Frequently Asked Questions

Please note that all information contained below is subject to change and provided only as guidance for interested homeowners. The information below is not the Pokagon Band HAF policy nor should it be interpreted as an official statement of policy on behalf of the Pokagon Band.

How do I apply?

Applications will be accepted online through the HAF email address, HAF.Program@PokagonBand-nsn.gov. Applicants may also submit their applications in person at the Pokagon Band Department of Housing and Community Development office located 57824 Potawatomi Trail, Dowagiac MI 49047All applications are to be emailed or walked in no acceptations. When you complete the Formstack application (below or above) your application automatically is emailed to Housing.


Can I be reimbursed for a hardship?

No, unlike the FADPR program, no payments will be paid to homeowners.  All payments will made directly to the lender or servicer on behalf of households.

Can I reapply for assistance?

Households may only apply for HAF assistance once per sub-program.  For example, if a household receives Mortgage Assistance, they cannot re-apply for Mortgage Assistance, however they can apply for Utility Assistance or a different sub-program.

Do I have to live in the Service Area to apply for the HAF program?

No, the HAF program is open to all Geographical areas. Pokagon Band Citizens do not have to live within the Service Area… the program is open to all States or Regions.

Am I eligible to Receive Assistance?

You may be eligible for assistance if:

  • If you were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and experienced a financial hardship on or after January 21, 2020.
  • The property to be assisted is your primary residence.
  • Have an income equal to or less than 150% of the adjusted for household size, or 100% of the National Median Income, whichever is greater. Area Median Income 
  • You are a Pokagon Band Citizen.

How are applications processed?

The Pokagon Band Housing and Community Development staff will work diligently to process applications on a first come, first served basis; however, the processing of applications will depend upon third party participation.

What properties are eligible?

  • Single-family (attached or detached) properties.
  • Condominium units
  • 1 to 4-unit properties where the homeowner is living in one of the units as their primary residence.
  • Manufactured homes in mobile home communities & parks or permanently affixed to real property and taxed as real estate.

What happens if I hand in an incomplete application?

If the Department of Housing and Community Development receives an incomplete application or an application submitted without proper paperwork, the applicant will be removed from the waiting list and a denial letter will be issued outlining why the household was denied.

What time is the Pokagon Band Department of Housing and Community Development open?

The Department of Housing and Community Development is open Monday - Friday, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Eastern Standard Time.

Can HAF be used to cover; Homeowner Association (HOA), Property Owners Association (POA), Condo Owners Association (COA), County Taxes, and Homeowners Insurance (HOI) fees?

Yes, payment will be made directly to the lender or servicer on behalf of the applicant.

What are the accepted types of financial hardship?

Homeowners must have experienced a loss in income or increase in living expenses as of a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This can include but is not limited to job loss, reduction in work hours, increased costs due to childcare, illness, or the need to care for a family member since January 21, 2020.

Inflation, difficulty in finding employment, and divorce or separation, absent another specific COVID-19 related hardship, are insufficient to establish a material increase in living expenses or material reduction in income as required by PBHAF program guidelines.

Will homeowners receive the money directly?

No, homeowners will not receive payment directly. Assistance will be applied directly to their mortgage loan, contractor, or utility company.

Will the benefits a homeowner receives through HAF be considered taxable income by the IRS?

No, any assistance received through the HAF program is not considered taxable income for federal tax purposes.

Will homeowners need to pay the money back?

No, all assistance is forgivable.

Will a Lien be put on my property?

No, a lien will not be put on properties.

Can I apply for multiple HAF sub-programs at one time?

Yes, a household may apply for multiple HAF sub-programs at one time.  For example, if a household has a delinquent mortgage, delinquent taxes, and delinquent utilities; the Households may apply for all three programs on one application.

What forms of documentation are needed for the application process?

The following type of documents may be asked for in the application, depending on the specific expenses’ homeowners are applying for assistance with:

  • Proof of Delinquency (provide bill(s))
  • Proof of Household Income (provide paystubs, statement of income or attestation of income)
  • Written Attestation as to how why assistance is needed. (Certify on application)
  • Proof of Pokagon Band Citizenship (Tribal ID)
  • Proof of Homeownership (deed, tax documents. etc.)
  • Proof of Social Security Number (SS Card)
  • Repair Program- (Proof of Permit, Proof of Contractors License & Insurance, Picture of Repair)

How do applicants confirm that they have a COVID-19 related issue?

Applicants will complete a self-attestation question in the application and provide a self-certified COVID-19 related hardship statement (including job loss, lost wages, increase in expenses, etc.).

What if my residence is currently scheduled for a tax sale?

Pokagon Band Housing and Community Development staff will work with your county treasurer’s office to provide funds to prevent your home from being sold in a tax sale or to cover the necessary costs to redeem your home during your specific redemption period.

What kind of assistance will be provided and is there a dollar limit paid out per program?

Yes, the “maximum per household PBHAF assistance” amount is capped at $20,000 per household.

The types of programs and maximum assistance per program is below:


Mortgage Payment Assistance Payment of mortgage arrearage, including principal, interest, and fees. 4 delinquent and 2 futures $10,000
Homeowner Internet Payment of delinquent and future internet bills to allow homeowners to get current with providers. max total of $600 $600
HOA fees or Liens Payment of delinquent and future homeowner association fees, including lot rent for mobile home parks. 4 arrearage and 2 futures $3,000
Delinquent Property Taxes Payment of delinquent property taxes Up to 4 arrearage payments, covering 2 tax years and associated late fees. $5,000
Mortgage Reinstatement reinstate a mortgage or to pay other housing-related costs related to a period of forbearance, delinquency, or default; Payment of mortgage arrearage, including principal, interest, and fees up to 4 delinquent payments to reduce displacement. Staff will work with mortgage company to reduce or waive fees and agree not to foreclose on homeowner. 4 delinquent payments $7,000
Mortgage Interest Rate Reduction Payment of points at closing or refinance to reduce mortgage interest rate or requirement of PMI (mortgage insurance). To include payment of refinance closing fees. up to 5000 $5,000
Homeowners Insurance Payment of delinquent homeowner annual insurance premiums to allow homeowners to get current with providers Up to one annual payments--Maximum $1,500. $1,500
Utility Payments Payment of delinquent utility bills to allow homeowners to get current with utility providers up to 6 payments per utility -- total combined max 4000 $4,000
Home Repair Payment of renovation expenses to address deficient building systems of a health, safety, or weatherization need. Payment of renovation costs associated with adding additional bedrooms or bathrooms to address overcrowding and bring the home into code compliance. Must use licensed and insured contractors. Work must pass code inspection with applicable permits pulled. Must submit photos of completed work.   Max 20,000 $20,000