Only 3 out of 130 applications for mortgage relief approved as program winds down

Guam Housing Corporation (file photo)

While more than 100 applications have been submitted for COVID-19 mortgage relief — only a few applicants have qualified for the assistance so far, according to the Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority.

Through GHURA’s Community Planning and Development funds, the Guam Housing Corporation was awarded $714,000 to provide mortgage relief to hundreds of homeowners on Guam.

The funding is part of HUD’s Mortgage Relief Program— an emergency relief program funded through the CARES Act to prevent, prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the Homeless Interagency meeting today, GHURA Director Ray Topasna provided updates on the program.

He says in total, 513 applications were picked up and out of that, 130 applications have been submitted to GHC.

So far, only 3 applications have been approved, 49 applications are still pending documents, and 24 were disapproved. Aside from failing to meet the HUD household income threshold, Topasna listed other reasons why these applications were turned down.

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“Basically when Congress passed all of these pandemic relief programs such as PUA, several of the households that would qualify for PUA would elevate them above the income threshold. HUD also takes into account the real estate assets, that’s another factor that’s challenging. You would have to report that…and if the banks allowed that arrangement with you…that could be another disqualifier,” Topasna said.

Meanwhile, Edith Pangelinan, the newly appointed president of GHC, says that the program is set to end in a few months but they are eyeing an extension.

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“The program is good up to May but we plan to extend that or to request an extension to that program at least up to Sept 30. Unfortunately, only three were approved,” Pangelinan said.

She added that GHC staff are reaching out to the Bankers’ Association and the Mayors’ Council to encourage those who might be eligible to apply to the program.