A $1 billion federal program now stretching statewide could keep 40,000 Floridians from losing homes to foreclosure. That would equal roughly 10 percent of the 485,286 properties in some stage of foreclosure in 2010 in Florida, according to real estate research firm RealtyTrac.

The Florida Housing Finance Corp. announced Tuesday it is expanding the federal Hardest Hit Fund statewide.

The $1 billion fund will help eligible homeowners make mortgage payments for up to 6 months. Homeowners must be unemployed or their housing cost must be 31 percent or more than their income. Delinquent homeowners who are now able to start making payments could also get help getting current on their loans.

There will be two programs, one for the unemployed and one to help homeowners who’ve found work get caught up on payments.

The Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program will provide up to $12,000 to pay monthly mortgage and escrowed mortgage-related expenses for up to 6 months, or until the homeowner can resume making mortgage payments.

The Mortgage Loan Reinstatement Payment Program will provide up to $6,000 to bring the homeowner’s mortgage current, if the homeowner is able to make mortgage payments.

To qualify, homeowners cannot be more than 180 days delinquent on their mortgage payments.

Homeowners can apply for assistance through the Florida Finance Corporation website.