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State-run mortgage assistance program shutting down in March

Sean Keenan
Georgia lawmakers consolidated existing agriculture sales tax exemptions into the GATE program in 2012. File/credit: Maggie Lee Georgia lawmakers consolidated existing agriculture sales tax exemptions into the GATE program in 2012. File/credit: Maggie Lee

A major state-run mortgage assistance program is expected to shut down in coming weeks, Georgia Department of Community Affairs officials told SaportaReport.

With just $12 million left in the program’s coffers, HomeSafe Georgia is projected to close in March. No new funds are expected to be allocated for a replacement, said DCA spokesperson Davia Lassiter.

The program, which affords eligible homeowners to get up to $50,000 in help on their mortgage, has helped more than 15,000 homeowners in the past decade, a DCA news release indicates. After March 31, no new applications will be accepted.

HomeSafe Georgia was launched in 2011, an effort to disburse $370 million in federal funding from the treasury department, the release says. Today, more than 99 percent of program participants are still in the homes two years after receiving assistance.

“There are about 200 applications in the pipeline at any given time,” Lassiter told SaportaReport. “We expect to be able to assist all eligible applicants that apply by the March 31 deadline.”

As of September, there were more than 19,000 homeowners in Georgia who were three months delinquent on their mortgage payments and more than 3,300 in foreclosure, per the release.

What comes next for people who relied on the program is not clear.

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