MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) – Governor Robert Bentley first said he wanted to create more jobs in Alabama and now he's offering foreclosure protection for those already unemployed.
"I think this is such an important program for so many people in the state," Bentley said. "And we hope that everyone takes advantage of it that needs it."
The name of the new program is "Hardest Hit Alabama."
Bentley made the announcement with Bob Strickland, Executive Director of the Alabama Housing Finance Authority.
""Responsible families across the state have found themselves unable to pay their mortgages due to joblessness" Strickland said.
The governor and Strickland each heralded the program as a safeguard for any family that has fallen on hard times and has had trouble paying off their mortgage.
In order to qualify for the program, the applicant must be eligible for unemployment benefits through the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations. The total household income must not exceed $75,740 and their home's mortgages must not exceed $258,690.
"This assistance is designed to help families stay in their homes until they can find employment" Bentley said.
Someone who has already benefited from the program is Millbrook resident Bessie Lucas, she found out about the program through a flyer she found in her mailbox. The governor's staff arranged for her to appear at the press conference showcasing "Hardest Hit Alabama."
Lucas said, "This program really did help me a lot because I was unemployed. I fell behind a little bit with my mortgage."
She had received assistance through HHA for the months of December and January. She landed a job two weeks ago as a medical assistant in a podiatrist's office.
"I encourage anyone who is unemployed to apply for this program" Lucas said.
The funding for the program came from the United States Department of the Treasury. The department issued Alabama $162 million in August 2010 specifically for unemployment.
The federal dollars are a onetime payment and the program will be administered on a first-come first-serve basis.