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Miami-Dade county to help condo owners with costs associated with special assessments

APTOPIX Building Collapse Miami
Rescue personnel work in the rubble at the Champlain Towers South Condo, Friday, June 25, 2021, in Surfside. The seaside condominium building partially collapsed on Thursday. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

(MIAMI-DADE, FLA) — Miami-Dade County is offering some condo owners loans up to $50,000 to cover costs associated with special assessments. “A loan up to $50,000, with zero percent interest,” said Ignacio
Ortiz Petit, Senior executive assistant to the executive director of Miami-Dade Public Housing. “This is a program that we have done in conjunction with our mayor, Daniella Levine Cava, the board of county commissioners to help people.”
The county’s plan to help condo owners with costs associated with special assessments comes after the legislature passed new legislation requiring building inspections and repairs after the Surfside condo collapse.
According to the county’s statement, “The Condominium Special Assessment Program is designed to assist condominium owners in addressing and paying for special assessment requirements that arise from rehabilitation and repairs due to applicable building integrity recertification requirements. ”
The county outlined the eligibility requirements: “Qualifying owners making less than 140% of the area median income (AMI) can get up to $50,000 in assistance to pay for these assessments. Individuals earning less than $95,620; couples making less than $109,200; three person households earning less than $122,920; and households of four making less than $136,500 may be eligible.”
Board certified community association attorney, Eric Glazer says, “Now this is wonderful news for Miami Dade County residents, and if everyone in the county eventually took advantage of this amazing offer, I have to think that Miami Dade would be loaning literally billions of dollars interest free.
But Glazer goes on to warn that “this is a very risky move. They can loan the $50,000.00 to cover special assessments, but if after a year or two the owner simply cannot afford their mortgage and the new mandatory reserves, and that condo goes into foreclosure, the money owned to the county gets wiped out if the bank forecloses on the property. I’m telling you now, the county stands to lose a tremendous amount of money on this one. Potentially billions.”