FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sponsored by the PA Save Our Homes Coalition, made up of housing, labor and religious groups from around the state. www.PASaveOurHomes.org
Join the cause at the Harrisburg Rally to restore HEMAP, a program which has helped many to save their home.
Time: 1:00 P.M.
Location: Capitol Rotunda, Harrisburg, PA
Contact: John Dodds, Philadelphia Unemployment Project 267-975-4706 or Cindy Daley, Housing Alliance of PA 1-717-909-2006
With the September 30 conclusion of the federal Emergency Homeowner Loan Program (EHLP), Pennsylvania homeowners will have no direct mortgage assistance program to protect them for the first time since 1984.
The state Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP) was suspended as of July 1, 2011 due to budget cuts in the state budget. Over 45,000 PA homeowners have received loans from HEMAP since 1984 to prevent foreclosure on their homes.
The EHLP program had strong demand for federal foreclosure prevention loans with over 6,700 applications in the six months the program operated. Over 2,000 families have been aided by EHLP to date with more than 2,000 more being considered for help. EHLP was modeled on the HEMAP program and was passed by the Congress as part of federal financial reform legislation in July 2010. It was scheduled to run from October 1, 2010 until September 30, 2011 but actually became operational in April 2011.
Housing activists and homeowners from around the state will be in Harrisburg to call for supplemental funding for HEMAP on the 27th. HEMAP received only $2 million in the state budget and the PA Housing Finance Agency had to close the program on July 1, due to lack of funds. The coalition is calling for a $15 million supplemental appropriation for HEMAP.
“HEMAP is critically needed during the current housing and unemployment crisis inPennsylvania,” said Greg Simmonds of Action Housing inPittsburgh.
“I almost lost my home due to the recession and finally got it saved by EHLP. What about the other families in Pennsylvaniawho will need help the rest of the year? They need HEMAP,” said Sharon Green, a Philadelphia homeowner and member of the Philadelphia Unemployment Project.
Speakers at the rally will include legislators, housing advocates, labor and religious leaders and homeowners.