Outside shot of the Greater North Miami Chamber of Commerce. Photo via votersopinion.com

The City of North Miami has started an Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program for homeowners affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city’s residents may apply for up to $5,000 in mortgage aid through the Greater North Miami Chamber of Commerce and the Haitian American Chamber of Commerce of Florida (HACCOF).

To be eligible, homeowners must have been current on their mortgage as of March 2020, when the pandemic was first declared, and not be more than four months overdue. If eligible, a homeowner can receive up to $5,000, or no more than six monthly payments. 

The city has provided about $77,096 to HACCOF to disburse until the funds are depleted. As of April 16, two residents had completed applications through HACCOF. Another $77,096 is available through the Greater North Miami Chamber of Commerce. 

“When I saw the program, I felt very relieved. I have a lot of hope,” said Moises Chevez, who’s been unemployed due to COVID since March 2020. “The experience at HACCOF was very smooth, they were very friendly.”

After completing the 25-page application, it may take about 15 days for a successful applicant to receive the financial assistance, said Alberte Bazile, North Miami’s director of housing and social services. 

Lumana Joseph, HACCOF’s chairperson, said she is thrilled to assist North Miami’s residents.

“This program is extremely important, especially in the North Miami area where you have a lot of low-income people who lost their jobs during the pandemic,” Joseph said. “It hurts you deeply, you want to be able to help. To be able to have money to help the local residents is amazing.”

A prior round of emergency mortgage assistance provided in August 2020 helped 24 homeowners, Bazile said.

The city also has launched a mental health assistance program, provides two hot meals from Monday to Friday to anyone in need and has a food pantry to distribute essentials.

Email me at onz@haitiantimes.com
Onz Chery started his journalism career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He later wrote for First Touch, local soccer leagues in New York and ESNY before joining The Haitian Times. Onz is also a Report for America corps member.

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