Santa Fe affordable housing builder Homewise has launched an Emergency Mortgage Assistance Fund to help the most vulnerable homeowners from the COVID-19 economic fallout with mortgage payments.

The program has been initially funded with $185,000 from the city of Santa Fe, the Albuquerque Community Foundation, the Santa Fe Community Foundation, Avalon Trust and Wells Fargo Bank.

“Right now we have enough to help families with one mortgage payment or a portion of a mortgage payment,” said Rachel Silva, marketing manager at Homewise.

The fund primarily is designed for families with incomes below 120 percent of the region’s annual median income who have lost the majority or all of their household income due to COVID-19-related economic conditions. Homewise also considers first whether applicants qualify for unemployment compensations and other government stimulus programs.

Mortgages guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac allow suspension of homeowner payments for up to 12 months, but Homewise notes homeowners must pay back the missed months in one large payment.

“We ask people to call us,” Silva said. “We want them to understand what options they have available to them.”

Call Homewise at 505-983-9473.

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