Hurricane Michael, which made landfall on the Florida coast on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm has left a trail of destruction in its wake. The preliminary numbers from CoreLogic estimate that the total damage to insured residential and commercial property due to wind and storm surge after the hurricane’s landfall stood at $3 billion to $5 billion.
Around $0.5 billion to $1 billion is estimated from losses due to storm surge and includes properties covered by the National Flood Insurance Program.
With the estimated damage to properties rising, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on Friday that it would speed federal disaster assistance to Florida by providing support to homeowners and low-income renters affected by the hurricane.
In particular, HUD said that it was offering foreclosure relief and other assistance to families living in Bay, Franklin, Gulf, Taylor, and Wakulla counties, where a major disaster declaration was issued by President Trump recently.
HUD plans to provide immediate foreclosure relief for homeowners with an FHA loan facing foreclosure due to the disaster in these counties. Additionally, HUD said that its Section 203(h) program provided 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 daunting task of rebuilding or buying another home. Borrowers from participating FHA-approved lenders are eligible for 100 percent financing, including closing costs.”
For homeowners who have lost their homes, HUD said that its Section 203(k) loan program enabled such homeowners 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,” HUD said.
While Florida was the hardest hit with $2.5 billion to $4 billion estimate in wind and storm surge damage, the destruction in Alabama and Georgia was estimated at $0.5 billion to $1 billion.
Read more about the assistance being offered by other agencies: