Families rejected for mortgage aid over income criteria must reapply

GHC: The Guam Housing Corp. office in the ITC Building in Tamuning. Post file photo

Families whose pandemic mortgage relief applications were rejected for exceeding the income threshold will need to submit a new application with the Guam Housing Corp., which will no longer calculate real estate assets as part of household income, GHC acting President Edith Pangelinan and other agency officials said Thursday morning.

The federally funded $714,000 mortgage relief program that GHC administers was among topics at the agency board meeting.

The program pays for up to three months of mortgage payments for eligible Guam homeowners, but, in six months, only three families have benefited from it.

GHC is finalizing the change in the program's income eligibility requirements, in close coordination with the Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority.

This comes after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development gave the green light for Guam to use the IRS Form 1040 definition of income, which excludes real estate assets as part of the household income calculation.

Prior to HUD's approval of GHURA's request on GHC's behalf, GHC was following the HUD definition of household income to include real estate assets.

The HUD definition resulted in the rejection of mortgage relief applications from families with real estate assets, but who have been having difficulty keeping up with mortgage payments directly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pangelinan said because GHC already made a prior determination on the applications received, the families need to submit new applications with GHC if they were rejected because they were determined to have exceeded the income threshold using the HUD definition of household income.

GHC could start receiving the new applications as early as next week, if the policies are finalized by then. Because of the change, the application period may be extended to June. The agency said it will release more information later.

The program continues to receive new applications.

Pangelinan and other officials said the change in eligibility requirements could mean more Guam homeowners can get help paying their mortgages.

GHC's mortgage relief program is separate from the $33.6 million rental and utility relief program that the Department of Administration administers.

Meanwhile, GHC board members on Thursday voted to approve an annual salary of $95,235 for the acting agency president, Pangelinan, whose nomination by the governor still needs legislative confirmation.

Haidee Eugenio Gilbert


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