HUD No. 05-117
September 3, 2005
HUD ESTABLISHES TOLL-FREE NUMBER (1-800-955-2232) FOR SECTION 8 VOUCHER HOLDERS AND PUBLIC HOUSING RESIDENTS
WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson today announced that HUD has established a Public and Indian Housing Resource Information Center, and a toll-free number, 1-800-955-2232, to assist displaced public housing residents and Section 8 voucher holders. Through its 80 field offices, HUD has also provided policy guidance to the nation's 3,200 Public Housing Authorities on how to assist displaced families as they relocate to other areas.
'We have had a number of Public Housing Authorities (PHA) nationwide from as far away as Ohio and Pennsylvania, step up to this challenge, and immediately start making all their vacant units accessible for displaced families,' said Jackson. 'We will be working with all the PHA's, around the clock, to help restore that sense of security a family has when there is a roof over their head.'
Yesterday Jackson instructed all FHA-approved lenders to provide foreclosure relief to FHA-insured families who are affected by Hurricane Katrina. The relief includes a special 90-day moratorium on all foreclosures of FHA-insured properties in the Presidentially declared disaster areas. Jackson is also encouraging lenders to undertake actions such as mortgage modification, refinancing, and waiver of late charges.
Following President Bush's federal disaster declaration, HUD began providing staff to Disaster Field Offices set up by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. HUD's initial concern is to help meet the immediate housing needs of those whose homes have been damaged or destroyed. HUD is also reaching out to its private sector partners such as the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National Association of Counties for assistance. HUD is contacting: top mortgage lenders about their inventory of repossessed homes; the homebuilding industry for help with building materials and supplying construction workers; its housing counseling network to assist displaced homeowners; and the manufactured housing industry about available housing stock.
HUD has established a toll-free telephone number for Department employees and FHA-insured homeowners. That number is: 1-866-641-8102
- Provide Temporary Housing and Shelter - HUD will identify vacant multi-family housing and HUD-owned homes that could be used as temporary housing for those forced from their homes. For more information about temporary housing go to FEMA's Website or call 1-800-621-3362;
- Grant Immediate Foreclosure Relief - HUD has granted a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and forbearance on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration-insured homes;
- Reprogram and Accelerate Federal Block Grants - Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME grantees may reprogram previously awarded grants to redirect their focus to disaster recovery activities but grantees must request the reprogram from HUD;
- Provide Relief for Indian Housing - HUD will provide Indian Community Development Block Grant funding (up to $300,000 per grantee) for disaster relief for Indian Housing and Tribal areas;
- Provide Public Housing Reserve for Disasters and Emergencies - HUD has funding available for public housing authorities to help rehabilitate damaged properties;
- 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;
- Mortgage Insurance for Disaster Victims - HUD has a special mortgage insurance program under Section 203(h) of the National Housing Act to assist disaster victims. Under this program, individuals or families whose residences were destroyed or damaged to such an extent that reconstruction or replacement is necessary are eligible for 100 percent financing; and
- Offer Assistance to Ginnie Mae Issuers in Disaster Areas Ginnie Mae will provide assistance to Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS) issuers with significant concentrations of loans within the affected areas. The assistance includes help in making payments to MBS investors where homeowners are unable to make payment, and eliminating delinquent loans from delinquency statistics used in risk monitoring.