First announced in March 2009, HARP is designed for homeowners who are current on their mortgage payments, but who haven't been able to refinance because they have limited equity, no equity or negative equity in their homes.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the Treasury Department originally estimated that four to five million borrowers would be able to refinance under HARP. Since the program began, more than 3.2 million homeowners have refinanced their homes through HARP, according to the latest statistics from HUD. However, the latest data from the FHFA shows that more than 600,000 U.S. households are still eligible to participate in the program.

On August 17, 2017, the FHFA announced that the HARP program would be extended again, and will now run until December 31, 2018. At the same time, HARP's replacement, the Streamline Refinance program will also run concurrently, starting with loans originated on or after October 1, 2017.