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HUD Expedites Aid to Hurricane Idalia Victims in Florida

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced a package of 29 regulatory and administrative waivers aimed at helping communities in Florida accelerate their recovery from Hurricane Idalia. The announcement of regulatory and administrative waivers issued by the Department builds on other support HUD is providing in the wake of the storm.

“My thoughts are with the families whose homes were lost or had extensive damage caused by Hurricane Idalia,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to giving our state and local partners resources and these waivers will help the people in their communities immediately rebuild their homes.”

CoreLogic estimates that insured losses across southeastern U.S. due to Hurricane Idalia are at less than $2 billion, encompassing insured losses to residential and commercial properties from wind and storm surge flooding. Storm surge losses do not include impacts to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

The regulatory and administrative relief announced covers the following HUD programs: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), Housing Trust Fund (HTF), Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), Continuum of Care (CoC), and Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP).

To expedite the use of these funds, HUD’s state and local partners can now access a waiver through a new simplified notification process. Through this waiver package, HUD is providing flexibility by:

  • Allowing new housing construction with CDBG funding in declared disaster areas.
  • Suspending the CDBG public services cap to provide additional support services related to the effects of the disaster on individuals and families.
  • Waiving the HOME matching contribution requirements and CHDO set aside to expeditiously provide housing to displaced persons and repair properties damaged by the disaster.
  • Providing flexibility in HOME tenant-based rental assistance requirements to reduce the burden for those seeking assistance.
  • Extending term limits for certain types of assistance, including CDBG emergency grant payments and ESG rental assistance.

This waiver follows HUD flexibilities announced on September 6 following the natural disaster declaration. Below are examples of what CPD funding can be used for in the wake of a disaster:

  • Housing rehabilitation
  • Housing reconstruction
  • Homebuyer programs replacing disaster damaged residences
  • Acquisition and relocation programs to help people move out of floodplains
  • Infrastructure improvements
  • Demolition of buildings
  • Reconstruction or replacement of public facilities
  • Small business grants and loans
  • Assistance to those experiencing or are at risk of homelessness after a disaster

In March, HUD announced an overhaul of the agency’s disaster recovery efforts to better serve communities that face the direct impacts of weather-related disasters. Based on the increasing number of disasters and the increasingly important role that HUD is playing in the federal government’s preparedness, response, and recovery efforts, the Department established the Office of Disaster Management (ODM) in the Office of the Deputy Secretary, the Office of Disaster Recovery (ODR) within the Office of Community Planning and Development and has added of dozens of new HUD staff members to help expedite recovery processes.

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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