Date Published: May 2006
Yes in some situations. Most homeowners are required to pay property taxes, mortgage insurance premiums, fire and hazard insurance premiums as part of their monthly mortgage payment. For example, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) requires a homeowner's monthly payment to include property taxes, special assessments (if applicable), and flood insurance (if applicable) in addition to principal and interest (see 24 CFR 203.22-203.24). These additional charges are held in escrow for payment by the lender on behalf of the homeowner. Other forms of financing allow a mortgagor to pay for taxes, insurance, and condo fees separately. For the purposes of STRMU assistance, to the extent that taxes and insurance, condominium fees or other building operation costs are required to be included in the monthly mortgage payment either by federal regulation or the terms of the mortgage, these expenses are eligible for payment assistance. This would mean that a client could not receive STRMU assistance for taxes and insurance or condo dues that are not included on the monthly mortgage statement. Other forms of assistance, such as homeownership programs may provide for alternative forms of support for costs not included on the mortgage payment statement. In the alternative, a grantee could limit the mortgage payment assistance to only the principal and interest payments if the grantee would like to adopt a local standard that gives every recipient of its program the same level of assistance, irrespective of whether other escrow items are included in the borrower's mortgage payment statement.