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HUD Comes to the Aid of Colorado Wildfire Victims

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) has announced that it is offering federal disaster assistance for areas in Colorado impacted by straight-line winds and wildfires from December 30 that continue to linger. On January 1, President Biden issued a major disaster declaration to make Federal funding available to affected individuals in Boulder County, Colorado.

Effective immediately, HUD is:

  • Providing immediate foreclosure relief in counties covered by the major disaster declaration: HUD's automatic 90-day moratorium on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages commenced on the date of the Presidential major disaster declaration, and foreclosures of mortgages to Native American borrowers guaranteed under the Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee program.
  • Making mortgage insurance available: HUD's Section 203(h) program provides FHA insurance to disaster victims whose homes were destroyed or damaged to such an extent that reconstruction or replacement is necessary. Borrowers from participating FHA-approved lenders are eligible for 100% financing, including closing costs.
  • Making insurance available for both mortgages and home rehabilitation: HUD's Section 203(k) loan program enables those who have lost their homes to finance the purchase or refinance of a house along with its repair through a single mortgage. It also allows homeowners who have damaged houses to finance the rehabilitation of their existing home.
  • Sharing information on housing providers and HUD programs: HUD will share information with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the state on housing providers that may have available units in the impacted counties. This includes public housing agencies and multi-family owners. HUD will also connect FEMA and state officials to subject matter experts to provide information on HUD programs and providers.
  • Providing flexibility to Community Planning and Development Grantees: Recipients of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, Housing Opportunities for Persons With HIV/AIDS (HOPWA) Program, Continuum of Care (CoC) Program, Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program, HOME Program, and Housing Trust Fund (HTF) Program funds can apply for needed administrative flexibility in response to natural disasters.
  • Providing flexibility to public housing agencies: Agencies can apply for needed administrative flexibility through disaster waivers. HUD also released PIH Notice 2021-34 on December 9, which granted administrative flexibilities to waive or establish alternative requirements for numerous statutory and regulatory requirements for various public housing programs.

HUD’s assistance for homeowners in Colorado follows the Department’s announcement of assistance for victims of recent tornadoes in Arkansas in late-December, and those who fell victim to tornadoes in Kentucky in mid-December.

About Author: Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.
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