The Treasury Department announced on Wednesday that the five states that were hit hard by the housing bust can start using $600 million to help jobless homeowners avoid foreclosure.
Treasury approved $159 million for North Carolina, $172 million for Ohio, $88 million for Oregon, $43 million for Rhode Island and $138 million for South Carolina
Housing finance agencies in North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island and South Carolina will receive the funds to carry out programs locally.
"These states have designed targeted programs with the potential to make a real difference in the lives of homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payments because of unemployment,"said.
An estimated 50,000 homeowners will get assistance under the program. States receiving funds submitted plans to Treasury for how they will use the funds. Ohio, will help jobless borrowers pay their mortgage for up to 12 months while they look for work.
High unemployment is increasingly bedeviling efforts to help people avoid foreclosure. U.S. joblessness in June was 9.5%. The Labor Department on Friday will report on July unemployment, and economists think the jobless rate will climb to 9.6%.
Treasury already doled out $1.5 billion from its "hardest-hit" fund to Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Nevada, and plans to announce a third round of aid to states totaling $2 billion. The money will come from the Troubled Asset Relief Program funds.