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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 98-594
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Monday
Or contact your local HUD officeNovember 16, 1998


Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today awarded $4,672,000 in grants to Georgia to help complete recovery from natural disasters.

Acting on behalf of Secretary Cuomo, HUD Director of Special Actions Alvin Brown made the disaster assistance announcement at an Atlanta news conference with Governor Zell Miller.

The HUD assistance will help Georgia recover from devastation caused by a series of severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that occurred last March and April. In March, Albany was one of the areas hardest hit by flooding. In April, tornadoes struck northeast of Atlanta, killing nine people and causing major damage.

"In one awful moment, a natural disaster can destroy the work of generations - wiping out homes, businesses, roads and schools, and bringing terrible suffering to the people of a community," Cuomo said. "We can't turn back the clock on the destruction, but the grants we're announcing today will help people, towns and cities recover and rebuild."

Governor Miller said: "Unfortunately, our state has seen more than its fair share of natural disasters lately. The Georgia Emergency Management Agency has worked day and night to help ease the burden placed upon Georgians by these disasters. I appreciate, as do all Georgians, this important assistance that will expand upon the relief we have already been able to offer."

President Clinton signed legislation in May appropriating funds to HUD for disaster relief. HUD's role is to meet long-term disaster recovery expenses not covered by other federal aid or insurance payments.

The HUD funds can be used for such things as: relocation payments for displaced people and businesses; rehabilitation of residential and commercial buildings; construction of new replacement housing; assistance to help people buy homes, including downpayment assistance and interest rate subsidies; assistance to businesses to create and retain jobs; public services for disaster victims; and acquisition, construction and reconstruction of public facilities and improvements such as streets, neighborhood centers, and water and sewer facilities.

Cuomo said other HUD assistance to victims of the disasters, provided immediately after President Clinton signed disaster declarations, included:

  • A 90-day moratorium on foreclosures of homes insured by the Federal Housing Administration that were hit by the disasters. As a result, disaster victims did not lose their homes if they were unable to make their mortgage payments for three months. HUD also worked with lenders to restructure mortgages to help disaster victims keep their homes.

  • Allowing disaster victims to receive special mortgage insurance that enabled them to finance 100 percent of the purchase price of a home or cost of reconstruction with no downpayment.

The HUD Disaster Recovery Initiative is just one part of the disaster recovery response by the Clinton Administration. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Small Business Administration and other agencies have provided millions more dollars in recovery funds for disaster victims around the country.

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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