55:14K-90 Housing Assistance and Recovery Program Support Fund.
10. a. There is established in the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency a Housing Assistance and Recovery Program (HARP) Support Fund, for the purpose of providing support and aid to any sponsor who establishes a Housing Assistance and Recovery Program which meets the following requirements. The sponsor shall:
(1)upon application to the commissioner, be certified by the commissioner as eligible to participate in the Housing Assistance and Recovery Program;
(2)employ trained foreclosure prevention and default mitigation counselors or contract with a HUD certified counseling agency that employs trained foreclosure prevention and default mitigation counselors;
(3)provide counseling to the homeowner both before and after the execution of a lease-purchase agreement, which shall include contact information for legal services programs within the county where the property is located;
(4)screen and assess the eligibility of homeowners to repurchase the property and sustain the homeowner's mortgage payments;
(5)have prior experience in (a) negotiating mortgage debt reduction from lenders, and (b) the purchase of distressed properties; and
(6)receive a commitment from a regulated financial institution or a government entity for a line of credit or other financing mechanism to purchase properties under a housing assistance and recovery program.
b.The lease-purchase agreement shall:
(1)include terms and conditions under which the sponsor shall convey the property to the homeowner at the expiration of the agreed upon use and occupancy period;
(2)enable the homeowner to continue to live in the property during the use and occupancy period for an affordable rent; and
(3)include a provision that the property will be sold back to the homeowner at a price not to exceed the price at which the sponsor purchased the property, plus any reasonable sponsor funded repair and maintenance costs.
c.Monies from the fund may be allocated solely for:
(1)appraisal of the property to determine current market value;
(2)construction and rehabilitation of the property to ensure compliance with all codes and standards;
(3)payment of property taxes accrued during the sponsor's ownership of the property;
(4)maintenance of property insurance, including, but not limited to landlord liability and fire insurance coverage;
(5)payment of no more than $25,000 toward the difference between the appraised value and the purchase price of the property; and
(6)any other activity the agency deems necessary to effectuate the purposes of the program.
d.No money allocated from the fund shall be used for the purchase of real property, other than as provided for in paragraph (5) of subsection c. of this section.
e.The agency shall conduct a quarterly audit of all funds received and expended for the program. The agency shall issue an annual report at the end of the State fiscal year detailing the result of the quarterly audits for the prior State fiscal year. The annual report shall be completed no more than 60 days after the end of the State fiscal year. The annual report shall be provided to the commissioner and, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), to the Legislature and made available to the public on the Department of Community Affairs website.
L.2008, c.127, s.10.
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Last modified: October 11, 2016