HUD ANNOUNCES DISASTER ASSISTANCE FOR ARKANSAS TORNADO VICTIMS

Foreclosure protection offered to displaced families in ten counties

WASHINGTON – U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson today announced HUD will speed federal disaster assistance to ten tornado-ravaged counties in Arkansas and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes following severe storms, high winds and flooding. This assistance includes foreclosure relief for families whose homes are insured through HUD’s Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

President Bush declared Baxter, Conway, Independence, Izard, Pope, Randolph, Sharp, Stone, Union, and Van Buren Counties a major disaster area. This presidential declaration triggers a variety of federal assistance including grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

“Those who are forced from their homes need to know that help is available,” said Jackson. “Whether its foreclosure relief for FHA-insured families or helping these counties to rebuild, HUD stands ready to help in any way we can.”

HUD is:

    • Offering the State of Arkansas the ability to re-allocate existing federal resources toward disaster relief HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME programs give the State the flexibility to redirect millions of dollars to address critical needs, including housing and services for tornado victims. HUD is currently contacting State and local officials to explore their needs for streamlining the Department’s CDBG and HOME programs in order to expedite the repair and replacement of damaged housing;
    • Granting immediate foreclosure relief – HUD granted a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages and strongly recommended special forbearance by loan servicers;
    • Making mortgage insurance available – HUD’s Section 203(h) program provides FHA insurance to disaster victims who have lost their homes and are facing the daunting task of rebuilding or buying another home. Borrowers are eligible for 100 percent financing, including closing costs;
    • Making insurance available for both mortgages and home rehabilitation HUD’s Section 203(k) loan program enables those who have lost their homes to finance the purchase or refinance of a house along with its repair through a single mortgage. It also allows homeowners who have damaged houses to finance the rehabilitation of their existing single-family home; and
    • Offering Section 108 loan guarantee assistance – HUD will offer state and local governments federally guaranteed loans for housing rehabilitation, economic development and repair of public infrastructure.

For more information about these and other HUD programs designed to assist disaster victims, visit www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/communitydevelopment/programs/dri/

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HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation’s fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.

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