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HUD No. 02-049
Peggy Johannsen (202) 708-0685

For Release
May 3, 2002

HUD Announces Disaster Assistance for Maryland Tornado Victims

WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development announced today that it would expedite federal assistance to three tornado-damaged counties in Maryland and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters. The tornado, which hit April 28, killed four people and destroyed or damaged more than a thousand homes and businesses.

"Nothing can erase the suffering these families are enduring," HUD Secretary Mel Martinez said. "Fortunately, we have several flexible tools that will help speed the road to recovery. We stand ready to help with the rebuilding process in any way we can."

On Wednesday, President Bush, declared Calvert, Charles and Dorchester counties as federal disaster areas. The declaration covers damage to private and public property from the F5 tornado that hit La Plata and nearby areas in Maryland on April 28, 2002.

HUD will provide staff to the FEMA Disaster Field Offices that provide information on programs designed to meet the immediate housing needs of those whose homes have been damaged or destroyed.

HUD will:

  • Grant Immediate Foreclosure Relief - HUD will grant a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and forbearance on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration-insured homes;
  • Provide Temporary Housing and Shelter - HUD will work with FEMA to identify vacant public housing and HUD-owned homes that can be used as temporary housing for those forced from their homes. At least 20 renters have been displaced from their homes.
  • Provide Section 108 Loan Guarantees - HUD will permit state and local governments participating in the CDBG program to obtain federally guaranteed loans for housing rehabilitation, economic development and repair of public infrastructure;
  • Make Available Single-Family Home Mortgage Insurance - HUD's Section 203(h) program enables the FHA to insure mortgages of disaster victims who have lost their homes and are in the process of rebuilding or buying another home. Borrowers are eligible for 100 percent financing, including closing costs; and,
  • Make Available Programs for Damaged or Destroyed Properties - HUD's Section 203(k) loan program enables homebuyers and homeowners who have lost their homes to finance both the purchase and/or refinancing of a house and the cost of its rehabilitation through a single mortgage. It also allows homeowners who have damaged houses to finance the rehabilitation of their existing single-family home. This program encourages lenders to make mortgages available to borrowers who would not otherwise qualify for conventional loans on affordable terms and to residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods.

For more information about these and other HUD programs designed to assist disaster victims, visit HUD's disaster relief page.

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




Content Archived: April 9, 2010

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