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HUD Offers Federal Disaster Assistance to Areas of Kansas

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) has enacted federal disaster assistance to state and local recovery efforts in the areas of Kansas affected by severe winter storms and straight-line winds from March 17-22, 2022 that produced heavy snow and high wind gusts.

On May 25, President Biden issued a major disaster declaration for the Kansas Counties of Barton, Clark, Comanche, Edwards, Ellis, Ford, Graham, Gray, Hodgeman, Kiowa, Lane, Meade, Ness, Pawnee, Phillips, Rooks, Rush, Stafford, Trego, and Wallace.

Federal funding, provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide, and DuWayne Tewes has been named the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas of Kansas. Additional designations may be made at a later date if warranted by the results of damage assessments.

Earlier in May, U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran, and Roger Marshall of Kansas, along with U.S. Reps. Ron Estes, Sharice Davids, Tracey Mann, and Jake LaTurner of Kansas requested that President Biden declare a major disaster in Kansas

“The storms devastated 20 counties in Western and Central Kansas, and all 105 counties and the four federally recognized tribal nations in Kansas were impacted by the storm systems,” the Congressional delegation wrote. “The damage caused by these storms will have long-lasting effects on the people of Kansas and its economy. Federal support must be quickly made available to equip our state and local governments with the resources necessary to respond to the devastation caused from these severe storms.”

Effective immediately, HUD will be taking the following actions to assist the impacted Kansas counties:

  • Provide 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 (May 25), and foreclosures of mortgages to Native American borrowers guaranteed under the Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee program; 90-day extensions were also automatically granted for Home Equity Conversion Mortgages commencing from the date of the Presidential major disaster declaration.
  • 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 mortgage and home rehabilitation: HUD's Section 203(k) loan program enables individuals to finance the purchase or refi of a home along with its repair through a single mortgage. It also allows homeowners who have damaged houses to finance the rehabilitation of their existing homes.
  • Sharing information on housing providers and HUD programs: HUD will share information with FEMA and the state of Kansas on housing providers that may have available units in the impacted counties, including Public Housing Agencies and Multi-Family owners. HUD will also connect FEMA and Kansas with subject matter experts to provide information on programs and providers.
  • 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.
  • 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: Housing discrimination sometimes occurs when people attempt to find and access housing following a disaster. 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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