Insight into the U.S. Treasury Update for Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) Allocation

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2021 and has been last updated on November 3, 2021 for accuracy.

Last week, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced a new deadline for a Tribe, Tribally Designated Housing Entity (TDHE), or the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to submit a notice of funds request to be extended to November 15, 2021.

For state agencies, in August the Treasury announced a new deadline of August 20th by which they were required to submit the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) plan or notify the Treasury of the date they planned to submit a completed plan. The Treasury has provided an online portal where state agencies can upload their plans.

This notice is the latest of the series of HAF Plan submission deadline extensions the Treasury has allowed since June. In their late July announcement, the Treasury indicated that the deadline will be extended beyond July 31st but left it open-ended. With this latest update, state agencies are closing all loose ends on their HAF plans and preparing for the complete plan submissions. As noted by the Treasury, state agencies can choose not to submit the plan but notify the Treasury the date by which their plans will be submitted.

State agencies are busy analyzing available emergency fund deployment software solutions, and ancillary services from call service providers, loan processors, underwriters, and file audit and compliance processors. ProLink offers all services required for many states and we have been providing national webinars to apprise states of the software and services we can provide to assist in the administration of their HAF plans.

 

About the Homeowner Assistance Fund

The Homeowner Assistance Fund provides $9.961 billion in assistance nationally related to mortgages and housing, including:

  • A minimum of $50 million for each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico
  • $498 million for Tribes or Tribally designated housing entities and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands
  • $30 million for the territories of Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

You can read more about it on the U.S. Treasury website.

Loss Mitigation, a Hot Topic with the Treasury

Most states have submitted their Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) plans to the U.S. Treasury in August. As of the publication of this blog, various states are engaged in active dialogues with the Treasury regarding their HAF plans. A hot topic of the discussions is the issue of integrating HAF into loss mitigation options that are already in place.

In a recent webinar hosted by the Urban Institute, panelist Stockton Williams, Executive Director of the National Council of State Housing Finance Agencies (NCSHA) explains, “Homeowner Assistance Fund really shouldn’t be seen as a stand-alone thing. It’s really a part of a suite of tools that are going to be available.” Williams was referring to loss mitigation options that are already available to homeowners who have mortgages with the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), or the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

William Corbett, Senior Advisor at the Treasury, concurs with Stockton’s view. William said, “You have much better and, in some cases, very streamlined federal loss mitigation options that are available to homeowners. That won’t work for every homeowner… There will be some homeowners who will be able to get success from that…and homeowners that might not be able to get success from that. That’s one area where housing counselors can assist.” You can find a recording of the webinar on the Urban Institute’s website here.

At the upcoming industry event, ProLink Technology Live 2021, ProLink Solutions is hosting a panel with industry experts to discuss the latest HAF implementation issues including loss mitigation. The event is free and is open to all public agencies.

All session and speaker information can be found in the registration site.

Check out the site and register today!

Announcing ProLink Technology Live 2021!

ProLink Solutions is opening our annual user conference to all public agencies nationwide this year. Join ProLink Technology Live 2021 on November 9 and 10. It’s a two-day virtual event with multiple tracks:

  • Track 1 – ProLinkHFA Multifamily is a 2-day track filled with software training as well as an 8823 Compliance panel made up of industry experts. Open to all public agencies.
  • Track 2 – ProLink+ HAF is a single day track (November 9) focused on Homeowner Assistance Fund implementation. Open to all public agencies.
  • Track 3 – ProLinkAIM is a single day track (November 10) and open only to ProLinkAIM users in the LIHTC syndication and investment space.

On November 9 at 11AM Eastern, we will kick off the conference with a special keynote speaker Jennifer Schwartz, Director of Tax and Housing Advocacy with the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA), to provide affordable housing industry updates from Washington!

All session and speaker information can be found in the registration site.

The event is free. Check out the site and register today!

Tackling the Digital Divide in Urban and Rural Colorado

Five percent of Colorado’s K-12 students lack access to affordable and reliable internet at home according to the study published by Colorado Futures Center (Access the full report here: https://www.coloradofuturescsu.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/colorado-remote-learning-impact-region-final.pdf). Housing Colorado, a non-profit organization in Colorado with a mission of promoting the preservation and production of quality affordable housing statewide, is hosting a webinar on September 21 to address the issue of the digital divide in urban and rural Colorado.

Ryan Kim, ProLink Solutions’ Director of Product Marketing, will be moderating the panel with two speakers, Jesse Burne with Denver Housing Authority and Josh Wehe with Jade Communications. “Since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year, many of us conduct our day-to-day business virtually and take our access to high-speed internet for granted. Imagine if you or your kids didn’t have access to internet. How would you effectively compete whether at work or at school?” says Ryan.

In the webinar, the panelists will share their success stories in filling the digital gap. Denver Housing Authority has run a program called ConnectHome Denver, which tackles the issue in the urban area by creating local partnerships encompassing government agencies and multiple Internet Service Providers (ISP). Jesse Burne, Strategic Initiatives Manager with the Housing Authority, will tell the story. Josh Wehe, Operations Director with Jade Communications, a smaller ISP in Southern Colorado, will provide a rural counterpart presentation. Jade Communications has assisted half a dozen school districts in low-income communities in the San Luis Valley region.

The webinar is scheduled for September 21 at 1 p.m. Mountain Time. Register here:
https://www.housingcolorado.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=1548714&group=#

ProLink Integration Video Featured at NCSHA Annual Conference

ProLink Solutions is a proud sponsor of the National Council of State Agencies (NCSHA) annual conference for 2021. Our video will be featured during the “Implementing the Homeowner Assistance Fund” panel on Monday, September 27 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

This video showcases new ProLink+ integrations with both DocuSign and Amazon QuickSight. With DocuSign eSignature, homeowners can sign the Hardship Affidavit quickly and easily. Amazon QuickSight allows agencies to view real-time reporting on critical fund distribution metrics, such as “Percent of Funds Disbursed,” “Average Days in Stage,” “Number of Applications per Stage,” and “Total Amount Disbursed by County.”

We invite you to watch our video about these exciting integrations below:


Register for the conference today to learn more about how ProLink+ can assist homeowners in your state.

Easy-to-Sign Hardship Affidavit with DocuSign

The DocuSign eSignature integration into ProLink+ has made the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) application process even easier for the homeowners. For agencies, it minimizes risk for fraud where applicants might misrepresent their personal information.

As the last step before submitting the application, each applicant is required to digitally sign the Hardship Affidavit form. Once the form is signed by all parties, the application is submitted to the agency. Agency staff then processes the submitted application in the back-office system, which ultimately leads to providing mortgage payments to the loan servicer, if the application meets all required funding criteria.

We invite you to watch our video about this exciting DocuSign integration below:

Live Demo

We are also hosting a webinar via Zoom on August 18 at 1PM ET, where we will be performing a live demo of ProLink+. Come by and see what ProLink+ can do for you in managing your HAF program.

Click here to sign up for our webinar on August 18 and reserve your spot today!

ProLink+ Integrated with DocuSign and Amazon QuickSight

We’re pleased to announce that our Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) deployment solution, ProLink+, has received some exciting new integrations with DocuSign and Amazon QuickSight. DocuSign eSignature enhances and simplifies the experience for homeowners applying for assistance, while Amazon QuickSight provides agency staff with a real-time, customizable analytical dashboard.

We invite you to watch our video about these changes, which was featured this year in NCSHA’s Housing Credit Connect 2021, below:

Live Demo

We are also hosting a webinar via Zoom on July 14 at 1PM ET, where we will be performing a live demo of ProLink+. Come by and see what ProLink+ can do for you in managing your HAF program.

Click here to sign up for our webinar on July 14 and reserve your spot today!

ProLink+ Upgraded with a New Look and Enhanced Functionality

ProLink+, our software solution to assist states with their Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) deployment, has been upgraded with a new look and enhanced functionality. Our webinar series in April and May of this year, where we discussed HAF deployment challenges and our holistic approach, was attended by over 30 states altogether. We are excited to have practically half of the nation showing interest in ProLink+. In the upcoming June 16 webinar, we plan to reveal the new look and enhanced functionality, which will make HAF deployment even more efficient for states.

Click here to sign up for our 30-minute webinar on June 16 and reserve your spot today!

New Look

The Homeowner Portal received a face lift! The navigation is more intuitive and the portal is now mobile friendly. The redesign helps the HAF roll-out in your state be more effective because homeowners will find it even easier and faster to submit applications and supporting documentation.

Enhanced Functionality

The new DocuSign feature supports digital signatures for the applicant’s Hardship Affidavit. The homeowner receives an email notification with a link; with just a click of a button, the homeowner can sign the Hardship Affidavit anywhere, anytime.

Join us for the live demo of these new features on June 16 at 1PM Eastern. Sign up today!

 

 

ProLink Panelists at NCSHA’s Housing Credit Connect in June 2021

ProLink Solutions is proud to announce we are an Event Platform Sponsor of the Housing Credit Connect conference in June 2021 hosted by the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA).  Some of the hot topics addressed in this conference include racial equity, climate change, healthy housing, emergency rental assistance, and preservation threats. We are happy to stand behind the affordable housing industry during this critical time as the nation is going through various changes, such as a new Administration and the global pandemic.

ProLink Panelists

Kelly Encinias, ProLinkHFA Product Owner, will be speaking at the Modernizing Compliance Monitoring panel on Wednesday, June 23 at 2:45PM ET. She will be introducing XML as a critical tool to enhance data security and share tenant compliance data seamlessly amongst various organizations.

At ProLink Solutions, Kelly focuses on customizing training plans for customers based on process discovery and successfully executing those plans in an efficient manner.

Ryan Kim, Director of Product Marketing at ProLink Solutions, is speaking at the Enhancing Public Policy with Portfolio Data panel on Wednesday, June 23 at 4:00PM ET. Ryan will tell a story from the housing finance agency side in terms of asset management data collection and analysis trends.

At ProLink Solutions, Ryan creates and communicates the vision for the ProLink Product Suites and drives various industry initiatives. He builds external partnerships and collaborates with stakeholders to bring changes.

 

We hope you join the Housing Credit Connect conference this year and learn and share with other industry participants. See you there!

 

 

ProLink+ Webinar Series for Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) Deployment

We are hosting a webinar series via Zoom on Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) Deployment. So far, we have hosted two 30-minute webinars on the subject, both of which were a rousing success with great turnout. A total of 25 states have attended our webinars  thus far. We are excited to have practically half of the nation showing interest in ProLink+. We expect an even higher turnout for our main 90-minute webinar on May 26, when we plan to showcase a live demo of ProLink+.

Click here to sign up for our 90-minute webinar on May 26 and reserve your spot today!

In case you missed either of the first two webinars, check out a recording of our the May 12 webinar below:

A Packaged Solution for Immediate HAF Deployment

ProLink has teamed up with E&A Team, Inc. to deliver a turnkey, package solution to states for the immediate deployment of the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) authorized under the American Rescue Plan Act. E&A Team has been trusted for more than 25 years to provide the highest quality compliance solutions and training for the multifamily housing industry, and we are excited to work with them.

What is the Homeowner Assistance Fund?

HAF refers to funds prioritized to homeowners under the American Rescue Plan Act. These funds are available to homeowners who have experienced the greatest financial hardships. You can read more about the HAF and American Rescue Plan Act here.

Where Does ProLink+ Fit In?

ProLink+ is a proven technology that serves states for the Hardest Hit Fund program. We are upgrading the technology to meet the needs of today’s Homeowner Assistance Fund. ProLink+ comes to the rescue and provides U.S. states with the cloud-based software they need to manage emergency fund deployment effectively and efficiently.