HUD announces federal disaster assistance for survivors of December tornadoes and storms

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WASHINGTON (KNWA / KFTA) – The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced the implementation of federal disaster assistance for areas of Arkansas affected by severe storms and tornadoes from the 10 until December 11, 2021.

On December 24, President Biden released a major disaster declaration to make federal funding available to those affected in Craighead, Jackson, Mississippi, Poinsett and Woodruff counties.

Federal funding, provided by FEMA, is also available on a cost-share basis for risk mitigation measures for affected counties in Arkansas. Effective immediately, the HUD is:

  • Provide immediate assistance with foreclosures in counties covered by major disaster declaration – HUD’s automatic 90-day moratorium on foreclosures on Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured mortgages began on the date of the Presidential Declaration of Major disaster and mortgage foreclosures at Native American secured borrowers under the Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee program. For assistance, call your loan officer or the FHA resource center at 1-800-304-9320.
  • Make Mortgage Insurance Available – 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 they face the difficult task of rebuilding or buying another house. Borrowers from participating FHA-approved lenders are eligible for 100 percent financing, including closing costs.
  • Make insurance available for mortgages and home improvement – 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 through 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 that may have units available in affected counties. This includes public housing agencies and multi-family landlords. The department will also connect FEMA and state officials with subject matter experts to provide information on HUD programs and providers.
  • Provide flexibility to beneficiaries of community planning and development – Beneficiaries of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, the Housing Opportunities for Persons With HIV / AIDS (HOPWA) program, the Continuum of Care (CoC) program, the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program, the HOME program and the Trust Fund for Housing (HTF) Program funds may request the administrative flexibility needed in response to natural disasters. For more information on requesting a waiver, contact your local Community Planning and Development Program office. Contact details can be found here.
  • Offer flexibility to public housing agencies – Public housing agencies can request the necessary administrative flexibility through disaster waivers. For detailed information on claiming a waiver, click here for the latest Federal Register Disaster Relief Notice guidelines. The ministry also released PIH Notice 2021-34, which allowed administrative flexibilities to waive or establish alternative requirements for many legal and regulatory requirements for various public housing programs. As a reminder, to be eligible for a disaster exemption, the PHA must be located in an active zone declared by the President for major disaster reporting (MDD) and submit a waiver within four months of a disaster.
  • Ensure that HUD-approved housing counseling agencies are ready to help – HUD-approved housing counseling agencies have counselors available to help people affected by natural disasters determine assistance needs and available resources. Find a HUD-approved housing counseling agency.
  • Help with housing discrimination – Housing discrimination sometimes occurs when people try to find and access housing following a disaster. HUD’s Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Office is available to help people who believe they have experienced housing discrimination. If you believe your rights have been violated, you should file a Fair Housing Complaint with HUD. You can file a complaint by calling HUD at 1-800-669-9777 or by visiting How to File a Complaint on the HUD website. Materials and help are available for those with limited English proficiency. People who are deaf or hard of hearing can contact the ministry using the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339. You should file a complaint with HUD as soon as possible. HUD may not be able to help you if your complaint is filed more than a year after the last discrimination. A list of state and local equitable housing agencies funded by HUD is available on the HUD website here.

Read about these and other HUDs designed to help disaster survivors.


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