In these challenging times, it has become harder and harder for those seeking employment to find stable work. According to the Georgia Department of Labor, Georgia”s unemployment rate is 8.4 percent, higher than the national rate of 7.6 percent. For the unemployed, this economic crisis hasn”t only affected their wallet, but their way of life, including their ability to pay bills and put food on the table.
In April 2011, Georgia received $339 million from the United States Department of Treasury to initiate the foreclosure prevention program HomeSafe Georgia. This program is aimed at helping homeowners, who are unemployed or underemployed through no fault of their own, with mortgage assistance, lessening their financial burden while securing a new job.
Today, the program has helped 3,439 homeowners in Georgia, with 531 in Gwinnett County as of April 26. Plus, homeowners assisted by HomeSafe Georgia have had a 99.54 percent success rate after 12 months, and a 100 percent success rate for 24 months.
“We all know someone who”s unemployed because of the recession. It could be me sitting on the side of the bed, with one shoe on and one shoe off trying to figure out what”s next. Many people have never considered applying for any type of aid, but we”ve never had a recession like this one either. I want to tell everyone – don”t hesitate, if you need help with your mortgage payment because you”re unemployed, this program is for you,”# says Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs Mike Beatty.
Besides those who have lost their jobs, the program also assists homeowners who have had a drastic reduction in income, self-employed homeowners, and veterans transitioning from military into civilian life. For individuals who have experienced an income reduction, HomeSafe Georgia offers reinstatement assistance that helps them become current on their mortgage payments. For the self employed, the program can determine if the individual is eligible by reviewing a previous tax return and determining if their company has experienced a 30 percent reduction in gross receipts or total business revenue.
Judith Barnes, a HomeSafe Georgia program recipient, is thankful for the help the program has provided her. “Plain and simple, the HomeSafe Georgia was a Godsend. I had been out of work for some time, money was not free flowing, and I was becoming concerned about my situation.
Within days of submitting my application, one of the workers contacted me and I knew that relief was on its way.”#
HomeSafe Georgia works very closely with their regional partners, including Georgia Department of Labor and mortgage companies, to make potential applicants aware of the available offerings. Representatives from HomeSafe Georgia are also regular participants at Georgia Department of Labor Career Fairs and resource events.
“We”re able to help individuals hands on with their application, they can apply online, or they visit one of our partner agencies for guidance. We always keep in mind the applicant”s privacy and are sensitive to their needs,”# says HomeSafe Georgia Outreach Coordinator Cynthia Harrison.
For more information visit www.HomeSafeGeorgia.com or call 1-877-519-4443. Applications may be submitted online, in person, or by telephone.