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Having trouble keeping up with mortgage payments? This program could help you

ORLANDO, Fla. — Trying to purchase a home or keep up with mortgage payments is a battle that many people face across the country right now.

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More than $600 million is available in Florida as part of a homeowner assistance program. Records show the state has only handed out a fraction of the money.

State Sen. Randolph Bracy wants homeowners who are struggling to make ends meet, to know that the program is open and has hundreds of millions of dollars to give away.

He is concerned that not enough people know about it.

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“I want people to know about it. There are a lot of people struggling to pay bills and this program is here to help,” he said.

Channel 9 found out that since the program started in February, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has awarded more than $60 million to homeowners.

The state received more than $676 million through the American Rescue Plan.

“I don’t think enough people know about it so that’s why we are here to bring awareness to it,” Bracy said.

The goal of the fund is to prevent Floridians from getting behind on their mortgage, insurance or utilities.

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Priority is given to those with the lowest incomes. If you have had a hardship throughout the pandemic, you can apply if you meet the requirements.

“The qualifications are any family impacted by COVID-19 and has made less than or equal to 150% of the state’s annual household income,” said Quanisha Nugent, with the Florida Homeowner Assistance Fund.

The DEO secretary said the department is “working tirelessly on an expedited timeline to get relief out as quickly as possible.”

The Florida Homeowner Assistance Fund ends when the money runs out.

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The maximum amount you can be awarded is $50,000.

The Central Florida customer service center is at New Covenant Baptist Church of Orlando.

You can also apply online. For more information on how to apply online, click here.

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Q Mccray

Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.

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