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HUD Offers Disaster Aid for Three Storm-Stricken States

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) has implemented federal disaster assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts in areas of Alaska, Tennessee, and Missouri impacted by recent natural disasters.

Areas of Alaska were hit by severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding, landslides, and mudslides from October 29-November 1, 2021, and on January 15, President Biden issued a major disaster declaration for the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

From December 10-December 11, 2021, areas of Tennessee were affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes, and on January 14, President Biden issued a major disaster declaration for the Counties of Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Gibson, Henderson, Henry, Lake, Obion, Stewart, Sumner, Weakley, and Wilson.

On December 10, 2021, severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes struck areas in Missouri, and on January 11, President Biden issued a major disaster declaration for the Missouri Counties of Bollinger, Dunklin, Iron, Madison, Pemiscot, Reynolds, and Wayne.

Federal funding, provided by FEMA, is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide. 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, and they are facing the daunting task of rebuilding or buying another home. 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 single-family homes.
  • Sharing information on housing providers and HUD programs: HUD will share information with FEMA and the state on housing providers that may have available units in the impacted counties, including public housing agencies and multi-family owners.
  • 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: Public housing agencies can apply for needed waivers and flexibilities for disaster relief and recovery. The Department also released PIH Notice 2021-34, which advises the public of HUD's expedited process for waivers and flexibilities from HUD regulatory and administrative requirements for various Public Housing and Voucher Programs. As a reminder, to be eligible to receive a disaster waiver, the PHA must be located in an active Presidentially declared Major Disaster Declaration (MDD) area and submitted within four months of a disaster.
  • Providing flexibility to tribes: Tribes and their Tribally Designated Housing Entities can apply for needed administrative flexibility through regulatory waivers.
  • Ensuring HUD-approved housing counseling agencies are ready to assist: HUD-approved housing counseling agencies have counselors available to assist those impacted by natural disasters to determine assistance needs and available resources.
  • Assisting with housing discrimination: HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity is available to assist people who believe they have experienced housing discrimination.

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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