Following devastating natural disasters in recent years, various agencies announced relief efforts for those affected by hurricanes, wildfires, and other events:
Displaced persons should register with FEMA in order to qualify for assistance offered by other agencies
HUD Multifamily Owners and Agents can find emergency and disaster guidance under Chapter 38 of HUD Handbook 4350.1
The Federal Emergency Management Agency
FEMA Assistance – If you encounter circumstances where your personal insurance will not cover damage from the disaster, you may contact FEMA at (800) 621-3362(FEMA) or TTY (800) 462-7585 for potential additional assistance or at disasterassistance.gov.
- For those who are eligible for FEMA assistance, FEMA transitional housing assistance provides lodging to displaced survivors who need a place immediately. FEMA pays the hotel/motel directly for this assistance.
- FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program provides financial assistance in the form of grants to survivors with uninsured or under-insured flood related losses. Survivors approved for assistance may use the rental assistance to obtain temporary housing such as a house, apartment, hotel, motel, or other readily-available dwelling for rent by the public.
Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
A variety of housing options will continue to be considered to ensure disaster survivors with housing needs receive assistance to help on their way to recovery.
Read about HUD programs designed to assist disaster victims
Please contact NAHMA’s Government Affairs Team if your properties have vacant units or can accept temporary subsidies to assist displaced persons.
Read HUD guidance for FHA-Approved Mortgagees and Servicers Regarding Presidentially-Declared Major Disaster Areas and HUD-FHA Revised Loss Mitigation Options (September 17, 2018)
Read a HUD update on active disturbance/storm numbers (September 13, 2018)
Read a HUD update on damage assessments, HAP contracts, and annual recertifications (November 28th, 2017)
Read a HUD update on units in affected areas (October 31, 2017)
Read about HUD efforts in response to Hurricane Harvey, including Secretary Carson’s recent letter to the people of Texas
Read about HUD efforts in response to Hurricanes in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
HUD’s TEXAS damage estimates are available here (September 8, 2017)
HUD’s Basic Damage Report Form is available to download here (September 11, 2017)
HUD’s Sample Vacancy Reporting is available to download here (September 13, 2017)
HUD is the lead federal coordinating agency for long-term disaster-related housing needs resulting from disasters. Federal partners are working closely with state, local, tribal and voluntary agencies to meet the need for quality affordable rental homes. They’re also focused on identifying strategies to strengthen the housing market, building inclusive and sustainable communities, and integrating disaster mitigation measures into community design and development, to reduce future damages.
HUD is primarily supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Justice, FEMA and other federal departments, agencies and national organizations. Below is a summary of the short-term, intermediate, and long-term efforts already underway:
Short-term Housing Activities
- HUD is immediately assisting those displaced from public housing and multifamily subsidized rental units
- Immediate foreclosure relief may also be available for impacted residents. HUD is granting a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and forbearance on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages
- MORs and REAC inspections were delayed in 2017 for the affected areas for 90 days, and the mandatory use of the Capital Needs Assessment (CNA) e-Tool was delayed for affected areas until November 1st; more information available here
- HUD is offering post-disaster healthy housing resources, including disaster recovery and rebuild toolkits
- HUD is expediting review of requests for regulatory relief for PHAs and Tribes in disaster-affected areas in 2017 and 2018
Intermediate and Long-Term Housing Activities
HUD is giving communities in presidentially-declared disaster areas the flexibility to redirect millions of dollars in annual CDBG and HOME formula funding to address critical needs, including housing and services for disaster survivors. In addition, HUD is:
- 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. Borrowers from participating FHA-approved lenders may be eligible for 100 percent financing.
- Offering mortgage relief options for homeowners affected in 2017 and 2018 through payment deferrals.
- 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.
- Insurance proceeds help insured homeowners and renters to repair hurricane-damaged, or flood-damaged property more quickly. The National Flood Insurance Program is authorizing advance payments of certain NFIP claims to expedite recovery. Call your insurance agent to find out more or to file a flood insurance claim under the NFIP.
Fannie Mae (GSE)
Fannie Mae Reminds Homeowners and Servicers of Mortgage Assistance Options for Areas Affected by Hurricane Florence. Homeowners can reach out to Fannie Mae directly by calling 1-800-2FANNIE (1-800-232-6643). For more information, please visit www.knowyouroptions.com/relief.
- Homeowners impacted by Hurricane Florence are eligible to stop making mortgage payments for up to 12 months, during which time they:
- will not incur late fees during this temporary payment break
- will not have delinquencies reported to the credit bureaus
- Servicers are authorized to suspend or reduce a homeowner’s mortgage payments immediately for up to 90 days without any contact with the homeowner if the servicer believes the homeowner has been affected by a disaster. Payment forbearance of up to 12 months is available in many circumstances.
- Servicers must suspend foreclosure and other legal proceedings if the servicer believes the homeowner has been impacted by a disaster.
USDA – Rural Development
Rural Development can help existing Rural Development borrowers who are victims of natural disasters. Below are brief descriptions of the disaster assistance options for our borrowers.
USDA is offering the following disaster assistance:
Housing Vouchers through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Disaster victims who are not Rural Development borrowers should contact FEMA. FEMA will be making USDA-Rural Development housing vouchers available to those displaced by the storm.
Multifamily Housing has been given two contacts at FEMA who are leading the housing assistance planning effort at FEMA:
Single-Family Housing Loan Borrowers or Grant Recipients
What is available to assist you if you have been impacted by disaster and are a Rural Development (RD) Single Family Housing Direct borrower?
- Moratorium- If you have excessive, non-reimbursed expenses resulting from damage to your property; non-reimbursed medical expenses or have lost your job as a result of the disaster, you may be eligible for a moratorium which is a temporary period where you are not required to make your house payment for up to 180 days.
- Insured Losses- If your property is damaged, please contact us to obtain a claims package which will explain how to work with your insurance agency and RD to process your claim.
- Payment Assistance- If your income has been reduced by over 10% and will be for the foreseeable future, you can request a payment assistance package. We will review the information to determine if you may be eligible for payment assistance or an increase in the assistance that you currently receive.
To request loan servicing assistance, borrowers should contact the Customer Service Center (CSC) Monday through Friday, 7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Central Time. Please have your account number or social security number available when you call or write us: USDA, Rural Development, CSC, Post Office Box 66889, St. Louis, MO 63166, Phone: (800) 414-1226, TDD: (800) 438-1832, Email Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Multi-Family Housing Loan Borrowers and Their Tenants
Residents in Rural Development-financed apartment complexes who are displaced by a natural disaster may apply for occupancy at any of our apartment complexes and receive special priority consideration for the next available unit. Displaced tenants who are receiving Rental Assistance may have their subsidy transferred if the complex they move to is eligible for the Rental Assistance program. Although Rural Development expects borrowers’ hazard insurance to cover damage costs associated with the disaster, we can consider temporary measures to reduce borrowers’ financial burdens and work with them, if needed, to develop a servicing workout plan.
To request loan servicing assistance, borrowers should contact Multi-Family Housing Specialists in their State Office.
Availability of Section 515 funds for Disaster Assistance
USDA recently announced Rural Development’s availability of funds to assist existing Multifamily Housing projects with repairs from damage caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
In early February 2018, Congress appropriated funds for the cost of direct loans to rehabilitate Section 515 rental housing in disaster-impacted areas where owners were not required to carry National Flood Insurance. Funding will also be available to projects that opted to carry flood insurance, but where the insurance proceeds did not cover all costs to repair the damage. The deadline for application submission is May 31, 2019.
Community Facilities Loan Borrowers
Community Facilities borrowers adversely affected by a disaster can receive servicing assistance to help minimize their losses. To request loan servicing assistance, borrowers should contact Community Program Specialists in their State Office.
The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH)
These federal resources can help communities prepare for disasters and respond and recover after they happen.
- Disaster Preparedness to Promote Community Resilience: Information and Tools for Homeless Service Providers and Disaster Professionals (VA, HHS, HUD)
This toolkit provides an overview of challenges that may occur during disaster-caused disruptions and the impact these challenges pose for individuals experiencing homelessness. It provides guidance for identifying and collaborating with partners to address disaster response and recovery needs, and it outlines strategies to prepare and minimize service disruption.
This toolkit helps communities address the needs of people experiencing homelessness and other vulnerable populations through comprehensive disaster planning, response and recovery, and long-term recovery. The toolkit takes local governments, service providers, and others through the process of planning and implementing a disaster response and recovery effort that serves all members of their community.
- National Mass Care Strategy (FEMA and American Red Cross)
The National Mass Care Strategy provides resources related to immediate emergency response, including, sheltering, feeding, distributing emergency supplies, reunifying families, providing immediate access to health, and emotional and spiritual health services, and accessing information.
The Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA works with a number of local partners to counsel, mentor, and train small businesses. SBA’s District Offices are responsible for the delivery of SBA’s many programs and services throughout the country.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance. Loans are available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
The IRS announced tax relief for certain affected counties.
The IRS announced that storm victims in certain Texas counties impacted by Hurricane Harvey will have until January 31, 2018, to file certain individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments. The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on Aug. 23, 2017.
- The tax relief is part of a coordinated federal response to the damage caused by severe storms and flooding and is based on local damage assessments by FEMA. For information on disaster recovery, visit disasterassistance.gov.
- For information on government-wide efforts related to Hurricane Harvey, please visit: https://www.usa.gov/hurricane-harvey.