HUD has announced a multi-milllion dollar Hurricane Irma aid package for hardest-Hit Florida communities. A press release at the Department of Housing and Urban Development details the federal aid, intended for areas HUD deems the most affected.
According to HUDNo.17-106, the aid package include $615,922,000 made available via the HUD Community Development Block Grant–Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program.
“The entire federal family” stands with the people of Florida “to help them recover from this devastating storm as quickly as possible,” according to HUD Secretary Ben Carson, who is quoted in the press release, adding, “HUD and the State of Florida will work together to speed the rebuilding of seriously damaged homes and businesses that lack the resources to recover on their own if not for these recovery dollars.”
In September, the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018 and the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017 was signed into law, making $7.4 billion in CDBG-DR funding available for major disasters declared in calendar year 2017.
“To distribute these funds,” the press release states, “the Act requires HUD to direct the funds to the areas most impacted by qualifying disasters. HUD will announce additional grants to other jurisdictions as more data become available on the unmet needs from 2017 disasters including Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria and the California fires.”
HUD says it plans to issue guidance on how the funds should be distributed and used at a later date. These funds are not associated with FHA home loan products for disaster victims, but are (as mentioned above) made available through the Community Development Block Grant program.
Those living in federally declared disaster areas do have FHA options available in the form of 203(h) rehab loans and refinance loans to repair or replace property damaged in the disasters. An extended FHA loan foreclosure moratorium for victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria was also announced in October.
Homeowners should make arrangements with their lenders as soon as possible in the wake of a natural disaster. It’s never safe to assume that your loan payment requirements have changed, or that your pre-disaster financial obligations are not still due. Make arrangements with your lender and be sure to ask what options and resources are open to you.