Homeowner Assistance Program information for towns
What is HAP?
COVID has placed added stress on many homeowners who are struggling to make ends meet. Chasing delinquencies – property taxes, water, sewer and other municipal utility bills, etc. – only adds burden to your growing list of municipal duties and nobody wants a tax sale. Solve your residents’ problems and yours by getting paid through the Homeowner Assistance Program (HAP).
Vermont’s HAP opened in January 2022 to assist homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage and faced economic hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program, funded by $50 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), will provide grants of up to $30,000 per household towards overdue mortgage payments, utility bills, property taxes, and property association charges.
How is my town involved?
Your town may have residents who have already applied to HAP for help with property taxes or other expenses. Other town residents may have not yet heard about the program but need help to catch up with unpaid bills.
Vermont recently enacted new requirements for towns pertaining to notifying residents with property tax delinquencies about the VT Homeowner Assistance Program (VHAP). This law also prohibits a tax sale from occuring while a VHAP application is pending if a resident requests it.
Steps for towns
1. Notify residents about the HAP program
- You may send a letter directly to residents with delinquent taxes. (Sample letter for towns to send to residents with delinquencies).
- You may also send a flyer out with all tax or utility bills. Flyers for you to print out are available here or contact us at [email protected] to request physical copies of flyers.
2. Register your town with the HAP program
Information resources about receiving HAP grants on behalf of residents with overdue bills for property taxes and other expenses:
- VLCT web site.
- VLCT webinar recorded April 12, 2022 that reviews the process of onboarding your municipality, confirming delinquent balances, and getting payment to the municipality.
- Slide deck on Training for Town Providers, 4/12/2022