HUD has announced it is taking measures to speed up hurricane recovery efforts through a series of red tape-cutting waivers that affect regulatory and administrative procedures.
According to a press release on the official site, a set of 19 waivers have been created, intended to help communities “to accelerate their recovery from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. While HUD granted a number of individual waivers following disasters in the past, today’s announcement represents one of the largest collections of regulatory and administrative waivers ever issued by the Department at one time” according to the HUD official site.
A variety of programs are affected by these new waivers. They include:
- The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program
- HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program
- Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program
- Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program.
The waivers include a variety of measures intended to speed up the creation of new housing, extending the requirements for communication, reducing the “public comment period” required for certain proposed recovery measures, and one important step taken to ease time restrictions on the execution of disaster recovery planning.
According to the HUD official site, that particular measure is described as follows:
“HUD recognizes that affected citizens may require additional time and effort to execute their recovery plans. Consequently, HUD will suspend a cap limiting CDBG expenditures for public services to 15 percent. HUD will temporarily allow CDBG grantees to pay for additional support services for individuals and families affected by the hurricanes.”
Those services may include “the provision of food, emergency shelter, case management and related services to help residents in declared-disaster areas until long-term recovery resources become available” according to the HUD press release.
In addition to these efforts, at the home owner level, the FHA and HUD offer foreclosure moratoriums, and rehab loans in the form of the FHA 203(h) rehab loan for those in federally declared disaster areas.
203(h) loans can be used in conjunction with other FHA-backed rehab loans (the FHA 203(k) mortgage or refinance loan) to help those who need to recover from the effects of the hurricanes. They can also be used with the FHA energy efficient mortgage add-on.
There may be specific requirements for using the 203(h) disaster rehab loan in conjunction with other FHA programs-talk to your loan officer about down payments and other relevant issues.