Washington Applauds Reinstatement of HEMAP
HARRISBURG, June 25, 2012 – State Sen. LeAnna Washington (D- Montgomery/Philadelphia) today applauded the news that on Friday, June 22, Governor Corbett signed into law Senate Bill 1433, which reinstates the Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP).
“I was outraged that Governor Corbett had again excluded HEMAP from this year’s budget proposal because this program has successfully helped homeowners across the state,” Washington said. “I am happy that funds will now be available so that HEMAP may begin the process of helping thousands of families on the brink of foreclosure stay in their homes.”
For the upcoming fiscal year, Senator Gordner’s bill – now known as Act 70 of 2012 – will allocate up to $18 million from the Homeowners Assistance Settlement Fund to fund mortgage assistance measures, with 90% of the funding reserved for HEMAP and 10% reserved for funding consumer protection programs. An additional $6 million will be available to immediately address residual backlog from the program’s dormancy. HEMAP will receive $12 million in subsequent fiscal years.
In January, Washington first introduced a bill which sought to annually allocate $15 million in table games revenue to reinstate HEMAP. While Gordner’s bill provides less funding in upcoming years, Washington indicated that any reinstatement of HEMAP is a first step in the process of helping families work their way through delinquent mortgages
“Philadelphia has the highest number of foreclosures in the state, and I am so glad that our hard work will help families with underwater mortgages see light at the end of the tunnel,” Washington continued.
Since it began in 1983, HEMAP has provided mortgage assistance to more than 46,000 Pennsylvania families. HEMAP also helps to reduce blight and the decline of neighboring home values, both of which are byproducts of foreclosure.
Sen. Washington noted that she is a HEMAP success story.
“We all experience financial difficulties at one point in our lives, and I was so grateful that HEMAP gave me the opportunity to stay in my home while I got back on my feet,” she said.
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