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HUD No. 98-10
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-1420Wednesday
Or contact your local HUD officeJanuary 21, 1998

VICE PRESIDENT GORE ANNOUNCES DISASTER ASSISTANCE FOR THE STATE OF TENNESSEE

ROAN MOUNTAIN, TN – Vice President Al Gore today announced a series of actions by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to speed disaster recovery efforts in Tennessee from the severe rain storm and subsequent flooding that hit the state in recent days. The storm knocked out power to thousands of residents and businesses, and severely damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes.

"President Clinton and I are committed to doing everything possible to help Tennessee’s families recover and rebuild from these devastating storms," the Vice President said. "The people of Tennessee have shown their resilience and we are committed to showing ours as we help the state in this time of difficulty."

The new actions include authorization for the immediate availability, upon the grantee’s request, of $43 million in HUD assistance that would normally have gone to the State of Tennessee in July for a broad range of community development programs. The funds come from the state’s annual allocation of $29.5 million from HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and from $13.5 million in HOME Investment Partnership Program assistance to small communities.

President Clinton declared a major disaster for Carter, Cumberland, Jackson, and Johnson Counties January 13, making the assistance possible.

"HUD is committed to doing all it can to help the families whose lives have been interrupted by this disaster," Housing and Urban Secretary Andrew Cuomo said. "Special programs can’t erase the pain and suffering these families have experienced, but they can play an essential role in rebuilding strong, vibrant communities."

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.

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 Tennessee. 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.

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 Mae’s website: www.GinnieMae.gov.

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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