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CUOMO ANNOUNCES HUD DISASTER ASSISTANCE FOR THE STATE OF FLORIDA
WASHINGTON Ė Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced a series of actions by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to speed disaster recovery efforts in Florida from the severe storm and subsequent flooding that hit the state last month. The storm knocked out power to thousands of residents and businesses, forced businesses to close and caused property damage in the central part of the state.
The new HUD actions include authorization for the immediate availability, upon the granteeís request, of $87.9 million in HUD assistance that would normally have gone to the State of Florida in July and to individual communities in June and October for a broad range of community development programs. The funds come from HUDís Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and from the HOME Investment Partnership Program.
President Clinton declared a major disaster for the Tampa area, Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Polk, and Sumter Counties on January 6, making the assistance possible.
The HUD assistance can be used to: repair homes and businesses; repair and rebuild public buildings and facilities, such as water and sewer facilities; and to pay for clearance and demolition of structures damaged by the storm.
"HUD is committed to doing all it can to help the families whose lives have been interrupted by this disaster," Cuomo said. "Special programs canít erase the pain and suffering these families have experienced, but they can play an essential role in rebuilding strong, vibrant communities."
The accelerated assistance will be made available in these amounts:
State of Florida -- $33.1 million in CDBG and $19.1 million in HOME funds.
The state makes available its share of the funds to smaller communities in Florida.
In addition, the Federal Housing Administration, the government-owned mortgage insurer that is a part of HUD, is making allowances to mitigate the hardships faced by individuals residing in presidentially declared disaster areas of Florida. The FHA is issuing a moratorium on foreclosures of FHA-insured home mortgages, to prevent people hit hard by the storm from losing their homes.
HUD will also make available the FHA Section 203(h) mortgage insurance program for disaster victims -- 100 percent financing for individuals or families whose homes were destroyed or substantially damaged in the storm. FHA will also ease other mortgage insurance program requirements. A copy of the FHA Mortgage Letter can be accessed on the web at www.hud.gov.
Also, the Government National Mortgage Association, another entity within HUD, is encouraging all single-family, multifamily, and manufactured housing security issuers to provide as much forbearance as possible to homeowners in Florida who cannot make their mortgage payments. To obtain more information on the conditions of assistance, issuers should contact their Ginnie Mae account representative. In addition, a copy of the All Participants memorandum can be accessed on Ginnie Maeís website: www.GinnieMae.gov.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009