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Ending extension for federal unemployment triggers housing concerns

California group reaches out to unemployed with mortgages

life rafts

News that the federal government has decided to forego an extension of long-term benefits for the unemployed prompted the California Employment Development Department (EDD) to fire off a warning notice to impacted workers.

The news affects housing mildly since many of these workers also carry mortgage debt that is now at risk without the continuation of the unemployment lifeline. In just California, the EDD says more than 220,000 long-term unemployed citizens have been notified that they will lose the federally funded extended benefits in two weeks unless lawmakers renew the extensions.

"Though the decision to renew the unemployment benefit extensions is in the hand of Congress and the President, the EDD is warning our customers that, if no further action is taken in Washington D.C., their federal extension benefits will end on Dec. 28," said Sharon Hilliard, EDD’s chief deputy director.

The development prompted the organization, Keep Your Home California, to remind homeowners that it offers 12 months of mortgage assistance under the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program.

"To qualify for our unemployment program, you have to receive benefits within the last 30 days," said Diane Richardson, program director for Keep Your Home California. "We have made a concerted effort to make sure homeowners receiving benefits make that call before the end of January."

Richardson says the group can pay as much as $3,000 a month to help an unemployed California borrower who applies for the program. Keep Your Home California has a partnership with the California EDD office, which sent out a special mailer advising impacted unemployment beneficiaries of some of the mortgage assistance available to them.

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