HUD No. 07-156
October 24, 2007
HUD SECRETARY ANNOUNCES DISASTER ASSISTANCE FOR FAMILIES DISPLACED BY SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES
HUD to offer foreclosure relief, provide FHA insurance to assist rebuilding
WASHINGTON - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson today announced HUD will speed federal disaster assistance to the Southern California counties affected by raging wildfires and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes.
"Those who are forced from their homes by these devastating fires need to know that help is available," said Jackson. "As families put their lives back together, HUD stands ready to assist local recovery efforts in any way we can."
The disaster declaration approved by President Bush today 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. The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.
With today's disaster declaration by the President, HUD is:
- Granting immediate foreclosure relief - Once the President declares a major disaster, HUD immediately issues a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and forbearance on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages;
- Offering California communities 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 fire victims. HUD is currently contacting State and local officials to explore streamlining the Department's CDBG and HOME programs in order to expedite the repair and replacement of damaged housing;
- 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 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.
- 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.
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.