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LRRC Announces Lakewood Township Mortgage Assistance Program

The LRRC today announced that it will be administering one-time grants to Lakewood Township households affected by COVID-19 to help make their mortgage payments. 

Who Qualifies: Residents of Lakewood Township who own the home they are living in and whose taxable income does not exceed the following amounts:

Additionally, the household must meet one of the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Had a decrease in income due to the COVID-19 pandemic (this program will take into account Unemployment Insurance benefits to calculate whether there was an actual loss of income). This category includes individuals laid off after March 1, 2020, and rehired for lower wages; or

  2. Paid out-of-pocket for a household member to receive mental health services from a licensed mental health professional from March 1, 2020, and on; or

  3. Is a spouse or tax dependent of someone who died from COVID-19.

When: Applications are being accepted from January 27, 2022, through March 14, 2022.

How: Apply online here: arpam.lrrcenter.org. Alternatively, you can download a paper application by clicking here: https://bit.ly/arpamlt, and mail or deliver it with all supporting documentation to the LRRC.

Other Information:

  • Up to three months of mortgage payments will be awarded.
  • Completed applications with all supporting documentation must be received by 5pm on Monday, March 14, 2022. All applications received by the deadline will be considered equally. All applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Eligibility is not a guarantee of funding.
  • If eligible applications exceed available funding, an independent auditor will conduct a lottery to choose which applications to award. All applications, documentation, and awards will be kept strictly confidential.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. I lost my job last year but managed to stay current on my mortgage payments by depleting my savings and borrowing from friends. Therefore, I am not currently behind on my mortgage payments. Do I qualify for this grant?

Yes. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you should apply even if you are up-to-date on your mortgage payments.

  1. I had two jobs and lost one of them due to COVID-19. I did not qualify for Unemployment Insurance benefits because of the amount I was earning even after losing my second job. Do I qualify for this grant?

Yes. You will need to show proof of the income that you lost, such as a letter from your employer that confirms how much you were earning and the date of termination.

  1. I lost my job in March 2020 and was rehired in June 2020 for a lower salary. Do I qualify for this grant? Yes. You will need to show proof that you were rehired for lower wages. Acceptable proofs include paystubs from before the termination and after the re-hiring or a letter from your employer.

  1. I lost my job in March 2020, but my spouse continued to work. Do I qualify for this grant?

Yes. If you lost income due to COVID-19, you should apply even if your spouse did not lose income.

  1. I was unemployed for a couple of months during 2020 but received more money from Unemployment Insurance than I would have earned at my job. Do I qualify for this grant?

Unfortunately, no. The application asks for the amount of income lost due to COVID-19 and how much money you received from Unemployment Insurance. If your Unemployment Insurance benefit amount exceeds the amount of the income loss, you do not qualify.

  1. I paid out-of-pocket for mental health services, but I rent the home I live in. Do I qualify for this grant?

Unfortunately, no. This grant is to help cover mortgage payments for a home that you own and live in only.

  1. My parent passed away from COVID-19. Do I qualify for this grant?

You only qualify if you were a tax dependent of your parent in the most recent tax year. If you are an independent tax filer or file taxes jointly with your spouse, you do not qualify.

  1. What documents do I need to provide to prove my eligibility?

Please see the application for a list of required documents.

  1. I received funding in the past from the LRRC’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund program. Can I apply for this grant?

Yes, as long as the grant funds will not be used to cover the same months of mortgage payments. For more information about the Affordable Housing Trust Fund program, visit: https://www.lrrcenter.org/public/special_projects/affordable_housing_trust_fund

  1. I am renting the home I live in and I am experiencing difficulty making my housing payments. Is there any assistance I can apply for?

There are three options you can look into:

  1. Ocean County Rental Assistance Program — Opening phase 2 on January 24. For more information and to apply, visit: https://co.ocean.nj.us/OC/frmRERAP.aspx.

  2. New Jersey COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program — Accepting pre-applications now. For more information and to apply, visit: https://njdca.onlinepha.com/.

  3. Lakewood Township Rental Assistance — You can reach out to Solutions to End Poverty Soon (STEPS) by calling 732.367.1640.

  1. Why is this program only available for Lakewood Township residents?

This program is being funded by the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF), a part of the American Rescue Plan. Each Township received different amounts of money and independently decided how to use the funds they received to benefit the residents of their Township. Lakewood Township is funding this specific program. Tremendous thanks go to Mayor Ray Coles, the Lakewood Township Committeemen, and Lakewood Township’s Department of Community Development for making this program possible.

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