HUD offers help as Trump adds counties to disaster declaration


Florida Realtors Disaster Relief Fund

Need help? The Disaster Relief Fund accepts aid applications from members of the Realtor family, including real estate employees, Realtor board/associations and their staff. Want to help? Your donations to the DRF directly support your real estate family.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Sept. 14, 2017 – The Trump Administration expanded the number of Florida counties in its Major Disaster Declaration. The designation frees up federal funds for hurricane recovery, including an initiative by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help homeowners recover from the storm.

More counties could potentially be added, but the current Florida counties included in the Major Disaster Declaration for Florida are: Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, DeSoto, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter and Volusia.

A major disaster declaration authorizes:

  • 100 percent federal reimbursement for 30 days for emergency protective measures, such as emergency operation center costs, evacuation costs, sheltering costs, and other costs associated with emergency response. After the 30 days, the federal government will reimburse 75 percent
  • 75 percent federal reimbursement for all counties for debris removal
  • Direct federal financial assistance for impacted Florida families

HUD disaster assistance for Florida storm victims

HUD says it will speed federal disaster assistance to the State of Florida and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes due to Hurricane Irma.

This week, President Trump issued a major disaster declaration for Broward, Charlotte, Clay, Collier, Duval, Flagler, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Putnam, Sarasota and St. Johns counties. The President's declaration allows HUD to offer foreclosure relief and other assistance to certain families living in this county. That includes:

Granting immediate foreclosure relief – HUD granted a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and forbearance on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages. There are approximately 280,000 FHA-insured Florida homeowners living in impacted counties.

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 from participating FHA-approved lenders are eligible for 100 percent financing, including closing costs.

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.

Information on housing providers and HUD programs – The Department will share information with FEMA and the State on housing providers that may have available units in the impacted counties. This includes Public Housing Agencies and Multi-Family owners. The Department will also connect FEMA and the State to subject matter experts to provide information on HUD programs and providers.

Assisting the State of Florida and local governments in re-allocating existing federal resources toward disaster relief – HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME programs give the State and communities the flexibility to redirect millions of dollars in annual formula funding to address critical needs, including housing and services for disaster 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; and,

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.

Other HUD disaster resource information is posted online.

© 2017 Florida Realtors