Floodwaters overtake a street in Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
Irina K. - stock.adobe.com Floodwaters overtake a street in Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development said it will speed federal disaster assistance to the state of Texas and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes due to Hurricane Harvey.

To date, President Donald Trump issued a disaster declaration for the following counties (more counties may be added later): Aransas, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Harris, Jackson, Kleberg, Liberty, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria and Wharton.

The declaration allows HUD to offer mortgage/foreclosure relief and other assistance to certain families living in impacted counties.

“Today, our thoughts and prayers are with those who are beginning the process of recovering from Hurricane Harvey,” said HUD secretary Ben Carson. “As FEMA begins to assess the damage and respond to the immediate needs of residents, HUD will be there to offer assistance and support the longer-term housing recovery efforts.”

HUD is:

  • Assisting the State of Texas 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;

  • Granting immediate foreclosure relief—HUD is granting a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and forbearance on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages. There are approximately 200,000 FHA-insured homeowners living in these impacted counties;

  • Making mortgage insurance available—HUD's Sec. 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 may be eligible for 100 percent financing;

  • Making insurance available for both mortgages and home rehabilitation—HUD's Sec. 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 Sec. 108 loan guarantee assistance—HUD will offer state and local governments federally guaranteed loans for housing rehabilitation, economic development and repair of public infrastructure; and

  • Providing 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.