WASHINGTON (KNWA/KFTA) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the implementation of federal disaster assistance for areas in Arkansas affected by severe storms and tornadoes from December 10 to December 11, 2021.
On December 24, President Biden issued a major disaster declaration to make Federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Craighead, Jackson, Mississippi, Poinsett, and Woodruff.
Federal funding, provided by FEMA, is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for the affected counties in Arkansas. Effective immediately, HUD is:
- Providing immediate foreclosure relief in counties covered by the major disaster declaration – HUD’s automatic 90-day moratorium on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages commenced on the date of the Presidential major disaster declaration, and foreclosures of mortgages to Native American borrowers guaranteed under the Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee program. For assistance, call your loan servicer or FHA’s Resource Center at 1-800-304-9320.
- Making mortgage insurance available – HUD’s Section 203(h) program provides FHA insurance to disaster victims whose homes were destroyed or damaged to such an extent that reconstruction or replacement is necessary, and they 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.
- Sharing 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 state officials to subject matter experts to provide information on HUD programs and providers.
- Providing flexibility to Community Planning and Development Grantees – Recipients of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, Housing Opportunities for Persons With HIV/AIDS (HOPWA) Program, Continuum of Care (CoC) Program, Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program, HOME Program, and Housing Trust Fund (HTF) Program funds can apply for needed administrative flexibility in response to natural disasters. For more information on applying for a waiver, contact your local Community Planning and Development Program Office. Contact information can be found here.
- Providing flexibility to Public Housing Agencies – Public Housing Agencies can apply for needed administrative flexibility through disaster waivers. For detailed information on applying for a waiver, click here for the latest guidance Federal Register Disaster Relief Notice. The Department also released PIH Notice 2021-34, which granted administrative flexibilities to waive or establish alternative requirements for numerous statutory and regulatory requirements for various Public Housing Programs. As a reminder, to be eligible to receive a disaster waiver, the PHA must be located in an active Presidentially declared Major Disaster Declaration (MDD) area and submit a waiver within four months of a disaster.
- Ensuring HUD-approved housing counseling agencies are ready to assist – HUD-approved housing counseling agencies have counselors available to help those impacted by natural disasters to determine assistance needs and available resources. Find a HUD-approved housing counseling agency.
- Assisting with housing discrimination – Housing discrimination sometimes occurs when people attempt to find and access housing following a disaster. HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity is available to assist people who believe they have experienced housing discrimination. If you think 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 visiting How to File a Complaint on HUD’s website. Materials and assistance are available for persons with limited English proficiency. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may contact the Department using the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339. You should file a complaint with HUD as soon as possible. HUD may be unable to help you if your complaint is filed more than one year after the last discriminatory act. A list of the state and local fair housing agencies funded by HUD is available on HUD’s website here.