Frequently Asked Questions

PAHAF General Information

NEW: The Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund program has reopened. Find out what you need to apply and submit your application today. Please see our FAQs about the reopening of the program for more information.

The Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund, or PAHAF, is a housing-related program funded by the U.S. Treasury to assist Pennsylvania homeowners facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program provides financial assistance to homeowners for qualified mortgage and housing-related expenses to address delinquency and avoid default, foreclosure, or displacement. Please see our Am I Eligible and What’s Covered pages for more information.

PHFA was allocated $350 million under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to develop the PAHAF program to help Pennsylvania homeowners avoid mortgage delinquency, foreclosure, or displacement.

PAHAF applicants are responsible for continuing their payments on all existing accounts while they await an award determination and award payment(s). This includes continuing to make their payments following the disbursement of a PAHAF award. For Forward Mortgage Payment Assistance, applicants should continue making payments until a determination is made by the PAHAF program – as a standalone assistance type, an applicant will be deemed ineligible if the loan is delinquent at the time of verification.

PAHAF Eligibility

The federal government sets limits on the maximum loan amount for home loans. These limits are known as Conforming Loan Limits and have increased over time. To be eligible for PAHAF assistance, the U.S. Department of Treasury requires that a homeowner’s first mortgage is a conforming loan and meets the federal limits for the year in which the loan was taken. The federal loan limits by year are published here.

Please see our Am I Eligible page for more information.

Homeowner(s) must have an annualized current income of no more than the 150% of the area median income for a household, for the relevant household size, as published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) in accordance with 42 U.S.C. 1437a(b)(2) for purposes of the HAF, or 100% of the national median income ($90,000), whichever is greater. Because available funding may not be sufficient to meet the needs of all Pennsylvania homeowners, the PAHAF Program will serve homeowners with the most need first. Please see our Income Prioritization for PAHAF section of the Am I Eligible? page for additional information.

PAHAF will work with an applicant with non-traditional income, including self-attestation of income. Supporting documents such as paystubs, W-2s, 1040’s, 1099s and other wage statements may also be used. PAHAF will also accept employer attestations as a supporting document for income verification.

Because available funding may not be sufficient to meet the needs of all Pennsylvania homeowners, the PAHAF Program will serve homeowners with the most need first to meet the prioritization guidance as provided by the U.S. Treasury. Please see our Income Prioritization for PAHAF section of the Am I Eligible? page for additional information.

PAHAF reserves the right to serve applicants out of priority sequence to maintain efficiency in application processing. Such gains in efficiency benefit all applicants, as the nature of homeowner need is extremely time sensitive.

For the HAF Program, a socially disadvantaged individual is defined as someone whose ability to purchase or own a home has been impaired due to diminished access to credit on reasonable terms as compared to others in comparable economic circumstances, based on disparities in homeownership rates in the HAF participant’s jurisdiction as documented by the U.S. Census.

The diminished access to credit must stem from circumstances beyond their control. Indicators of impairment under the U.S. Treasury definition may include being a (1) member of a group that has been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias within American society, (2) resident of a majority-minor Census tract; (3) individual with limited English proficiency; (4) resident of a U.S. territory, Indian reservation, or Hawaiian Home Loan, or (5) individual who lives in a persistent-poverty county, meaning any county that has had 20% or more of its population living in poverty over the past 30 years as measured by the three most recent decennial censuses.

In addition, an individual may be determined to be socially disadvantaged individual in accordance with a process developed by HAF participant for determining whether a homeowner is a socially disadvantaged individual in accordance with applicable law, which may reasonably rely on self-attestations. For purposes of PAHAF, if the applicant or a member of the applicant’s household receives income because of a disability, the applicant and applicant’s household will be considered socially disadvantaged.

Expenses Covered by PAHAF

The Program helps with various housing-related expenses for homeowners. Please see our What’s Covered? page for more information. Please note: Each type of PAHAF assistance can only be received once per household, even under the increased cap.

Yes, except for forward mortgage assistance. To be eligible for all other assistance types, an applicant must be delinquent on housing expenses by at least one month. For standalone forward mortgage assistance, however, you cannot be delinquent on mortgage payments to qualify.

You may still be eligible if your delinquency amount is greater than the PAHAF cap of $50,000. Eligible homeowners must contribute enough funds or document an approved loss mitigation plan to cover the additional need beyond the PAHAF cap to bring the mortgage current. Homeowners may be referred to a Housing Counseling Agency. Call the PAHAF Call Center Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for additional information at (888) 987-2423.  

For PAHAF, a mortgage means any credit transaction that is secured by a mortgage, deed of trust, or other security interest on a primary residence of a borrower for an “Eligible Property Type”:
  • Single-family/row home (attached or detached properties)
  • Condominium units
  • Cooperatives
  • Manufactured/mobile homes

This includes federally backed, private, and reverse mortgages. It also includes a loan secured by a manufactured home, or a contract for deed (also known as a land contract).

No, only first mortgages are eligible for PAHAF assistance.

No. As of the launch of the full program on February 1, 2022, each type of PAHAF assistance can only be received once per household. Only one mortgage reinstatement and forward mortgage assistance will be covered by PAHAF. Past due utility bills and real estate taxes will only be eligible up to the cap, and will only be covered one time, as well.

No, PAHAF does not cover payments for principal reductions on completed loan modifications or partial claims. Balloon payments are also not covered under PAHAF. Please see What’s Covered? for more information on the assistance types that are available.

PAHAF Special Circumstances

Yes. Homeowner(s) who are in active bankruptcy must provide proof of court or trustee approval to participate in the Program.

You may still be eligible for assistance, although you will need to prove your ownership interest in the property. You may seek assistance with obtaining proof of ownership through a PAHAF legal service provider, working with your own attorney or contact the PAHAF Call Center for further assistance at (888) 987-2423 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Receiving an Act 91 or facing foreclosure does not disqualify you for assistance. You may still be eligible if you meet all other Program eligibility requirements. If you need immediate assistance in seeking foreclosure protection, please contact a housing counselor in your area. Click here to find available housing counselors. If you have not already submitted a Homeowner’s Emergency Mortgage Assistance (HEMAP) application, please do not delay in contacting a HEMAP counseling agency for assistance – see a full list of HEMAP certified counseling agencies here. You may proceed with your PAHAF application while seeking guidance from a HEMAP certified counseling agency.

You may still be eligible for assistance. Applications will be processed based on Treasury’s income prioritization guidance. Application processing will be completed, as quickly as possible once all documentation is submitted. A payment timeframe cannot be guaranteed to qualified homeowners.

PAHAF Application Assistance & Complaints

No. There is no cost to apply.

The PAHAF application portal is accessible online and via mobile device. Homeowners who may require additional assistance in completing the application will also be able to contact the PAHAF Call Center (888-987-2423) or participating housing counseling agency for assistance. The PAHAF Call Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

The PAHAF Call Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. For assistance, please call us at (888) 987-2423.

Homeowners can call the PAHAF Call Center (888-987-2423) for assistance in completing the application Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Additionally, participating Housing Counseling Agencies can provide assistance with completing and submitting applications.

A complaint can be filed by any interested party that takes issue with the programmatic, operational or administration activities of the program. Typically, complaints originate from an individual who is experiencing a difficulty with program services, including eligibility, intake process, or award calculation. You can file a program complaint in one of three ways:

  • Provide your issue or concern via email.
  • Submit information via the Online Complaint Form.
  • Call the PAHAF call center at 888-987-2423, available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. 
  • Mail a letter to us. Some individuals may not have access to a computer and may wish to send a letter detailing their issues with the program. Interested parties should send written communications via U.S. mail to the following address:

    ATTN: Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund
    108 Locust St, Suite 100
    Harrisburg, PA 17101

PAHAF Application Approved, Now What?

No, the Program will pay your mortgage servicer, utility company, local municipality, etc. Applicants will be notified of the amount of assistance to be disbursed on their behalf.

No. PAHAF is structured as a non-recourse grant with no repayment terms. However, PAHAF funds are recoverable in the event of fraud or overpayment, and all applicants must certify during the PAHAF application process that they will not accept assistance from any other federal, state, local, or tribal program for the same expenses.

The U.S. Treasury has provided guidance that HAF funds are not a taxable benefit. PAHAF cannot provide advice on these matters. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to seek tax advice from professional financial or tax service providers.

Related Assistance Programs

No, PAHAF is only available for homeowners. Renters experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic are encouraged to contact the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, which is overseeing the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).

Yes, PHFA maintains a webpage of resources for individuals who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pennsylvania Department of Health and Department of Human Services also have useful webpages, including information on the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). We also encourage all homeowners to reach out to their servicers and mortgage lenders to discuss loss mitigation options which may provide a more immediate solution.