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HUD Details Disaster Relief for Mississippi Following Tornado

In the wake of a deadly tornado that destroyed some 300 homes and businesses in Rolling Fork, Mississippi and the nearby town of Silver City, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) announced the implementation of federal disaster relief for the state of Mississippi.

“HUD is with the people of Mississippi to help rebuild after this devastating disaster. The tornadoes in Mississippi displaced many individuals and families from their homes due to the damage caused by the severe storms,” HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge said. “The help we are announcing gives our state and local partners the flexibility they need to rebuild from the storm and it builds on unprecedented aid from the Biden-Harris Administration.”

The disaster relief, which assists state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in affected areas, began March 24-25. On March 26, President Biden issued a major disaster declaration for the counties of Carroll, Humphreys, Monroe, and Sharkey.

The relief package includes a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgages as well as foreclosures of mortgages to Native American borrowers guaranteed under the Indian Home Loan Guarantee program. Conventional mortgage holders should also check with their servicers, according to the HUD press release.

Through the agency’s disaster recovery efforts, HUD ensures mortgage insurance is available to disaster victims and makes insurance available for both mortgage and home rehabilitation, through FHA insurance, according to the press release. HUD’s loan program allows individuals to finance the purchase or refinance of a house along with its repair through a single mortgage. Homeowners can also finance the rehabilitation of their existing homes if damaged.

HUD said information will be shared with FEMA and the State on housing providers that may have available units in the impacted counties, including public housing and multifamily owners.

The relief also provides flexibility to Community Planning and Development grantees (more information here), public housing agencies (Federal Register Disaster Relief Notice guidance), and tribes (Office of Native American Programs).

HUD-approved housing counseling services, available to any affected homeowner, provide assistance in 200 languages, and a list can be found here.

Earlier this month, HUD announced an overhaul of the agency’s disaster recovery efforts to better serve communities who face the direct impacts of weather-related disasters, according to a HUD press release. The agency has recently added dozens of new staff members to help expedite recovery processes.

The overhaul is part of HUD’s effort to streamline the agency’s disaster recovery and resilience work, according to HUD, “by increasing coordination, reducing bureaucracy, and increasing capacity to get recovery funding to communities more quickly by facilitating collaborative, transparent disaster recovery planning with communities earlier in the process.”

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 [email protected].

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