Following the passage of Hurricane Ida and the presidential declaration of major disaster areas throughout Louisiana, government agencies announced assistance measures.
The following parishes in Louisiana are major disaster areas: Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, Ste. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sent out a press release noting that the following are effective immediately:
- Foreclosure Relief — HUD’s 90-day automatic moratorium on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured mortgages began on the date of the Presidential Declaration of Major Catastrophe, and mortgage foreclosures on secured Native American borrowers under the Indian Home Loan Guarantee of Section 184. Program. More information for repairers and owners is available at the FHA Resource Center at 1.800.304.9320.
- Mortgage Insurance — HUD’s Section 203 (h) program provides FHA insurance to disaster victims whose homes have been destroyed or damaged to such an extent that reconstruction or replacement is necessary and are faced with the task of rebuilding or to buy another house. Borrowers from participating FHA Approved Lenders are eligible for 100% financing, including closing costs, and …
- Mortgage and Home Rehabilitation Insurance – HUD’s Section 203 (k) loan program allows those who have lost their home to finance the purchase or refinance of a home as well as its repair thanks to a single mortgage. It also allows homeowners who have damaged homes to finance the rehabilitation of their existing single-family home.
- Sharing Information on Housing Providers and HUD Programs – The department will share information with FEMA and the state on housing providers who may have units available in affected counties. This includes public housing agencies, tribal nominated housing entities, and multi-family landlords. The HUD will also connect FEMA and the state with subject matter experts to provide information on HUD programs and providers.
- Flexibility for states and local governments – HUD will issue regulatory exemptions to allow communities more flexibility to use their existing community development grant funds, continuum of care, HOUSE, housing opportunities for people with AIDS and emergency solutions grants. These exemptions will allow communities to react more quickly after the hurricane.
- Flexibility for public housing authorities – Public housing authorities can request the necessary administrative flexibility through disaster waivers. Detailed information about the waiver request is available at HUD.gov under the Federal Register’s Latest Disaster Relief Notice. The HUD also issued PIH Notice 2021-14, which granted administrative flexibilities to waive or establish alternate requirements for many legal and regulatory requirements for various public housing programs.
- Flexibility to Tribes – Tribal-nominated housing entities may request the necessary administrative flexibility through regulatory exemptions. Detailed information on waivers is available from the local Native American Programs office or by email at [email protected]
- HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies – HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies have counselors available to assist you. HUD-approved agencies are listed on HUD.gov. More details on the HUD relief efforts are available at HUD.gov.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have also issued reminders on the regular programs in place for flood and wildfires and protections.
Fannie Mae reports: Mortgage agents are allowed to offer forbearance for up to 90 days, even without making contact, if they believe the homeowner has been affected by the disaster. Homeowners affected by disaster often have the right to reduce or suspend mortgage payments for up to 12 months without late fees or threat of foreclosure. There are a number of options available to help homeowners make up for missed payments, including disaster payment deferral.
Freddie Mac’s vice president of portfolio management of single family services, Bill Maguire, said that with his mortgage services, “Freddie Mac is ready to offer immediate mortgage relief options to those affected by Hurricane Ida.
Freddie’s disaster relief options are available to homeowners whose homes or workplaces are located in major disaster areas declared by the President.
Maguire added, “Once safe, homeowners whose homes are affected should contact their mortgage agent – the company they send their monthly mortgage payments to – as soon as possible to discuss available mortgage relief options. This also includes homeowners whose workplaces have been affected, leading to financial hardship preventing them from being able to make their monthly payment. “