HUD No. 07-066
May 16, 2007
HUD SECRETARY ANNOUNCES DISASTER ASSISTANCE FOR MASSACHUSETTS FLOOD VICTIMS
Temporary housing and foreclosure protection offered to displaced families
WASHINGTON - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson today announced HUD will speed federal disaster assistance to certain flood-ravaged counties in Massachusetts and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes following last month's severe storms and inland and coastal flooding.
President Bush today declared Barnstable, Berkshire, Dukes, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, and Plymouth Counties a federal disaster area. This presidential declaration triggers a variety of federal assistance including grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
"Families struggling to recover from this flood should know they're not in this alone," said Jackson. "These counties suffered severe flooding and with this declaration, the real work of long-term disaster recovery can begin. For HUD's part, we ready to assist local recovery efforts in any way we can."
- Offering the State of Massachusetts the ability to re-allocate existing federal resources toward disaster relief - HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME programs give the State the flexibility to redirect millions of dollars to address critical needs, including housing and services for tornado victims. HUD is currently contacting State and local officials to explore streamline HUD's CDBG and HOME programs to expedite the repair and replacement of damaged housing.
- Granting immediate foreclosure relief - HUD granted a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and forbearance on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages;
- Providing temporary housing and shelter - HUD will work with FEMA to identify vacant properties that may be available to use as temporary housing for those forced from their homes;
- Offering Section 108 loan guarantee assistance - HUD will offer state and local governments federally guaranteed loans for housing rehabilitation, economic development and repair of public infrastructure;
- Making mortgage insurance available - HUD's Section 203(h) program provides FHA insurance to disaster victims who have lost their homes and are facing the daunting task of rebuilding or buying another home. Borrowers are eligible for 100 percent financing, including closing costs; and
- Making insurance available for both mortgages and home rehabilitation - HUD's Section 203(k) loan program enables those who have lost their homes to finance the purchase or refinance of a house along with its repair through a single mortgage. It also allows homeowners who have damaged houses to finance the rehabilitation of their existing single-family home.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.