Featured, News

COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice Announces West Virginia Homeowners Rescue Program; Unveils New Online Vaccination Due Date Calculator

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – During Monday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that a new program – called the West Virginia Homeowners Rescue Program – will provide assistance to West Virginia homeowners who have experienced a financial hardship related to COVID-19.

“If you’re a homeowner, especially if you’ve been hurting financially, you’ve got to see if you can take advantage of this program because we can come running to the rescue. Any federal dollars that are available to the state, we want to try to capitalize on that in any way we can,” Gov. Justice said. “Not only will we be able to help you, but this will also be a major stimulus for our economy, because the multiplier effect of these dollars will be enormous.”

The program can provide assistance for past-due mortgage payments of up to $15,000, past-due utilities of up to $2,500, past-due insurance, property tax payments, and other housing costs of up to $5,000, $300 in internet assistance, and $500 of assistance on certain downpayment loans.

The Governor was joined by Erica Boggess, Director of the West Virginia Housing Development Fund (WVHDF), who further explained the details of the new program.

“This program is designed to help homeowners that have fallen behind because of the pandemic,” Boggess said. “It’s important to note that this program is not just for people that have a mortgage loan on their home, but someone that owns their home outright who may have fallen behind on property taxes, for example, can also get some benefit from this program.

“To be eligible for this program, your income cannot exceed 150% of the area median income for the county where you reside,” Boggess continued. “Your primary residence must be in West Virginia, and this can be a single family home, a condo, a townhouse, a mobile home, or a duplex.”

Boggess added that, to qualify, applicants must be able to demonstrate a COVID-related hardship, such as a decrease in your income, and/or an increase in expenses related to the pandemic.

The WVHDF will begin accepting applications next Monday, March 28, 2022. Online and paper applications will be available.

“I just want to encourage everybody that’s a homeowner in West Virginia, that maybe has fallen behind, please visit our website,” Boggess said. “There’s much more information there about what’s covered, what’s eligible, and how the program is going to operate, and it also has a list of the documents that you’ll need to provide when you fill out your application.”

More information: wvhdf.com/west-virginia-homeowners-rescue.

Also on Monday, Gov. Justice announced that a free, online tool to help people learn when they may be due for a COVID-19 shot is now live at vaccinate.wv.gov.

West Virginia’s new COVID-19 Vaccination Due Date Calculator is the first online application of its kind to calculate a COVID-19 vaccination due date for anyone at any stage of vaccination.

“This incredibly important tool will help some people to ensure that they’re getting their booster shots,” Gov. Justice said. “I really want to thank Dr. Julia Fraustino, director of West Virginia University’s Public Interest Communication Research Lab, and WVU student Steven Lough for their efforts in creating the calculator. This is really great work coming from West Virginia University and we thank them in every way.”

The Vaccination Due Date Calculator was made possible through the work of the Joint Interagency Task Force on COVID-19 and DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health, in partnership with West Virginia University’s Public Interest Communication Research Lab.

State Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh joined the Governor during the briefing to explain how West Virginians can use this important tool.

“We thought it was really important to give West Virginians this tool – which doesn’t exist anywhere else in the country – to help each person to determine when it’s time to get your next dose, your booster dose, or if you’re immunocompromised, perhaps the fourth dose of vaccine,” Dr. Marsh said. “Then it gives you the opportunity to both identify when you’re due for your next vaccine and to schedule it right off the tool, or to set a reminder on your calendar so that you make sure that you get the dose of vaccine at the right time.”