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HUD Awards $1.4M for Disaster Recovery Research

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded $1.4 million in funding for research on outcomes of renter households during various phases of disaster recovery. Two awardees, The Urban Institute and Horne, LLP, will receive the funds under the (FY2022) Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).

“Disasters often result in a loss of naturally occurring affordable rental housing,” said HUD’s Policy Development and Research General Deputy Assistant Secretary Todd M. Richardson. “These two organizations will help us better understand what long-term recovery looks like for low-income renters and the availability of affordable rental housing in communities impacted by disasters, with a goal toward seeing what efforts have been more successful than others.”

The Urban Institute is a nonprofit research organization that provides data and evidence to help advance upward mobility and equity. The Institute serves as a trusted source for changemakers who seek to strengthen decision-making, create inclusive economic growth, and improve the well-being of families and communities. Through HUD’s funding of $699,607, the Urban Institute intends to utilize a unique set of data from the last decade to assess disaster outcomes on affordable rental housing in communities receiving CDBG-DR funds. Their research will include focus groups and structured interviews with housing developers, landlords, and renters at three case study sites.

Through HUD’s funding of $700,393to Horne, LLP, the goal is to provide a deeper understanding of recovery outcomes of renter households in areas funded with Community Development Block Grant–Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds and what factors contribute toward different outcomes.

CDBG-DR funds support long-term recovery after large disasters and are targeted toward the most heavily impacted and distressed areas.

In light of Hurricane Fiona making landfall in Puerto Rico, Fannie Mae is reminding both homeowners and renters impacted by natural disasters of available mortgage assistance and disaster relief options. Under Fannie Mae’s guidelines for single-family mortgages impacted by a natural disaster:

  • Homeowners may request mortgage assistance by contacting their mortgage servicer (the company listed on their mortgage statement) following a disaster.
  • Mortgage servicers are authorized to offer a forbearance plan for up to 90 days–even without establishing contact with the homeowner–if the servicer believes the home 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. During this temporary reduction or pause in payments, homeowners will not incur late fees and foreclosure and other legal proceedings are suspended.

“Our hearts are with all those who have been impacted by Hurricane Fiona since its landfall, and we want everyone in the path of the storm to prioritize their safety,” Cyndi Danko, Chief Credit Officer, Single-Family, Fannie Mae. “As the affected areas begin to recover, Fannie Mae, in conjunction with its service providers, would like to remind homeowners and renters in need that they should contact their mortgage servicer to seek relief options and assistance as quickly as possible. Additionally, homeowners and renters can learn more and receive personalized support by contacting Fannie Mae’s free Disaster Response Network.”

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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