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Hurricane Ida Disaster Resources

Following the landfall of Hurricane Ida and presidential declaration of major disaster areas throughout Louisiana, government agencies announced assistance measures.

The following parishes in Louisiana are major disaster areas: Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sent a press announcement noting that the following items go into immediate effect:

  • Foreclosure relief—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. More information for servicers and property owners is available at FHA's Resource Center at 1.800.304.9320.
  • Mortgage insurance—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 and are facing the task of rebuilding or buying another home. Borrowers from participating FHA-approved lenders are eligible for 100% financing, including closing costs, and ...
  • Insurance 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 single-family home.
  • Information sharing on housing providers and HUD programs —The Department will share information with FEMA and the State on housing providers that may have available units in the impacted counties. This includes public housing agencies, tribally-designated housing entities, and multiamily owners. HUD will also connect FEMA and the State to subject-matter experts to provide information on HUD programs and providers.
  • Flexibility to states and local governments—HUD will issue regulatory waivers to allow communities more flexibility to use their existing Community Development Block Grant, Continuum of Care, HOME, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS, and Emergency Solutions Grant funds. These waivers will make it easier for communities to respond quickly in the hurricane aftermath.
  • Flexibility to public housing authorities —Public Housing Authorities can apply for needed administrative flexibility through disaster waivers. Detailed information on applying for a waiver is available on HUD.gov under the newest Federal Register Disaster Relief Notice. HUD also released PIH Notice 2021-14, which granted administrative flexibilities to waive or establish alternative requirements for numerous statutory and regulatory requirements for various public housing programs.
  • Flexibility to Tribes –Tribally designated housing entities can apply for needed administrative flexibility through regulatory waivers. For detailed information on waivers is available from the local Office of Native American Programs or email Codetalk@hud.gov.
  • HUD-approved housing counseling agencies—HUD-approved housing counseling agencies have counselors available to assist. HUD-approved agencies are listed at HUD.gov. More details about HUD relief efforts is available at HUD.gov.

For homeowners, servicers, and others dealing in FHFA-backed mortgages, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also have issued reminders about regular programs in place for flooding and wildfire relief and protections.

Fannie Mae reports: Mortgage servicers are authorized to offer forbearance for up to 90 days—even without establishing contact —if the servicer believes the homeowner was affected by the disaster. Homeowners affected by a disaster are often eligible to reduce or suspend their mortgage payments for up to 12 months sans late fees or threat of foreclosure. There are a number of options available to potentially help homeowners catch up on missed payments, including Disaster Payment Deferral.

Freddie Mac’s VP of Single-Family Servicing Portfolio Management, Bill Maguire, says that, along with its mortgage servicers, "Freddie Mac stands ready to provide immediate mortgage relief options to those affected by Hurricane Ida."

Freddie's disaster relief options are available to homeowners whose homes or places of employment are located in presidentially-declared Major Disaster Areas.

Maguire added, “Once safe, homeowners whose homes are impacted should contact their mortgage servicer—the company they send their monthly mortgage payments to— as soon as possible to talk about available mortgage relief options. This also includes homeowners whose places of employment have been impacted resulting in a financial hardship that prevents them from being able to make their monthly payment.”

About Author: Christina Hughes Babb

Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media and Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning News, among others. Contact Christina at christina.hughesbabb@thefivestar.com.
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