Scott’s office responds to Nelson on mortgage aid program

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State officials said Wednesday they’re working “tirelessly” to hand out federal assistance to distressed homeowners, rejecting earlier criticism from US Senator Bill Nelson, who said the Scott administration was moving too slowly.

Florida Housing Finance Corp. Executive director Steve Auger also denied reports by a newspaper that no assistance was provided to homeowners who were ineligible. “Our staff is working tirelessly to put this federal assistance into the hands of homeowners who qualify for and need it,” Auger wrote in a letter to Nelson that the governor’s office released.

According to Auger, the Hardest Hit Program, which was created to hand out federal assistance to distressed homeowners, has undergone multiple reviews, two by the U.S. Department of Treasury, plus the state Office of the Auditor General and Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability. “None of these reviews found that Florida Housing provided (Hardest Hit) assistance to homeowners who were ineligible to receive it using our federally approved eligibility criteria for the program, as was alleged in a recent news article…The result of these audits affirm our thoughtful and deliberate approach to shaping our state’s HHF program to assist those homeowners who have the greatest chance of keeping and sustaining their homes.”

Auger wrote that he expects all the funding to be properly expended by the December 31, 2017, deadline.

Via The News Service of Florida.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.