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Amid pandemic, Cobb County’s new “Home Saver” program helps residents pay mortgages

A Cobb County government building. (Credit: Google Maps)

By Sean Keenan

Cobb County officials are using grant money to help homeowners stay home amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, the Cobb County Board of Commissioners green-lit $4.8 million in grants that will help households afflicted by COVID-19 pay their mortgages or secure homeownership counseling, according to a government press release.

The program is funded the $132 million the county claimed from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Scrutiny (CARES) Act.

Dubbed the “Cobb Home Saver Program,” the new system is administered by HomeFree-USA, a national nonprofit that specializes in helping people buy homes and manage their mortgages.

Homeowners delinquent on mortgage payments could be eligible to claim up to $4,800 if they can show they’ve fallen on financial, medical or family hardships.

If applicants are approved for the program — it operates on a first-come, first-served basis — “Mortgage payments will be paid directly to the lender on the borrower’s behalf,” according to the press release.

The debut of the program comes at a time when COVID-19-related displacement is on the rise, as the battered economy threatens mass evictions and foreclosures. Homeowners can also apply for mortgage forbearance through the state’s Department of Community Affairs.

Renters, though, aren’t afforded such assistance from the state government, as housing experts have pointed out in recent interviews with SaportaReport.

To better understand the impacts of the pandemic on Atlanta housing, a slate of industry experts are scheduled to discuss the fate of the mounting eviction crisis during the Atlanta Regional Housing Forum on Tuesday.

(Header image, via Google Maps: A Cobb County government building.)

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