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California homeowners who have fallen behind on mortgage payments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic can now apply for up to $80,000 in mortgage relief.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the $1 billion program, which is similar to the ongoing rent relief program, in late December. Homeowners throughout California who meet the criteria and were financially affected by the pandemic are eligible for the mortgage relief. Recipients of this relief will not have to repay the debt.

Funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act’s Homeowner Assistance Fund, the program is open to people who own and occupy their single-family home or manufactured home, such as a mobile home. The funds will go directly to homeowners’mortgage service providers.

Here’s who can apply

Unlike the emergency rental assistance program that is targeted toward low-income renters, any homeowner who makes up to 100% of their county’s area median income can apply for mortgage assistance if they meet the following criteria:

  • Their household income is equal or below the county’s area median income. Homeowners can check their county’s median area income by household size on the California Mortgage Relief website.
  • The homeowner missed at least two mortgage payments prior to Dec. 27, 2021.
  • The homeowner was financially impacted by COVID-19 after Jan. 21, 2020.

In addition to meeting all the criteria above, the applicants must meet one of the following to qualify:

  • Receive public assistance.
  • Have a mortgage, property taxes and other housing expenses that are more than 40% of their income.
  • Have no alternative mortgage assistance through their mortgage provider.

Here’s how to apply

To apply to the mortgage relief program, visit or call 1-800-569-4287 for assistance.

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Cassandra is a housing and engagement reporter with Fresnoland.