September 26, 2011

State of Alabama
Press Release: Mental Health, Department of

ADMH Continues to Assist Employees Affected by Cuts Using AHFA's Mortgage Payment Program

MONTGOMERY – In 2010, the U.S. Department of Treasury announced $2 billion in federal funding to provide assistance targeted at unemployed homeowners in 19 states. In Alabama, that funding resulted in the program known as “Hardest Hit Alabama”, administered by the Alabama Housing Finance Authority. This program is aimed at providing homeowners with temporary assistance to avoid foreclosure while they are unemployed. In collaboration with the ADMH, on September 21st, officials from the Alabama Housing Finance Authority held an informational meeting for ADMH employees in Tuscaloosa regarding the program. Housing counselors were available to advise employees on eligibility requirements and assist them in initiating the application process. ADMH Commissioner Zelia Baugh said, “We are thankful AHFA has worked to make this program available to Alabamians. Although ADMH has provided ongoing assistance for affected employees, we are pleased to assist in bringing this additional resource to those who might need it.”

Through Hardest Hit Alabama, eligible homeowners receive assistance to pay their mortgage payments and all other mortgage-related expenses, including payments on any subordinate liens, while unemployed. It provides up to 12 monthly mortgage payments, not to exceed $15,000, per household. For unemployed homeowners with a property located in one of the 43 federally declared disaster counties, HHA will provide increased assistance of up to 18 consecutive monthly payments, or $25,000, per household.

To qualify, applicants must currently be receiving unemployment compensation benefits, have a total
annual household income of less than $75,740, and the unpaid principal balance on their home’s mortgage must be less than $258,690. Interested homeowners must submit an application through Hardest Hit Alabama’s secure website, and the program is available to homeowners on a first-come, first-served basis.

ADMH continues to work diligently to assist affected employees in finding alternate employment through job transfers to other department facilities and referrals to community mental health providers. In addition, eight job fairs have been held in the Tuscaloosa area, and the ADECA Rapid Response teams have provided seminars and individual counseling on reemployment. Additional seminars are scheduled for October.


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