Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson met with Governor Bob Riley and Atmore Mayor Howard Sell last week to tour hurricane damage in Atmore and surrounding areas. Representatives of the Red Cross and local residents joined them.
"Hurricane Ivan may have ravaged this community, but he did not destroy its spirit. HUD's commitment to Atmore is strong, and I am confident that when all is said and done, this community will be even stronger than it was before the storm," said HUD Secretary Jackson.
"All Alabamians are certainly appreciative of the response we've gotten from our federal partners. President Bush, Secretary Jackson and FEMA have done a great job in helping Alabamians recover. The state continues working closely with federal and local officials to make sure all available aid gets where it is needed as quickly as possible," said Governor Riley.
Secretary Jackson announced that HUD is allocating $500,000 for debris removal in affected areas, because streets and yards have to be cleared before repair and reconstruction can proceed. The money will go directly to the State of Alabama so that state officials can allocate it to the communities that need it the most.
Jackson also noted that HUD has made nearly $10 million available in emergency funds for elderly multi-family housing properties that have sustained hurricane damage. The grants will fund up to $500,000 in repairs per project. HUD will also:
- Grant Immediate Foreclosure Relief - HUD will grant a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and forbearance on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration-insured homes
- Make Available Single-Family Home Mortgage Insurance - HUD's Section 203(h) program enables the FHA to insure mortgages of disaster victims who have lost their homes and are in the process of rebuilding or buying another home. Borrowers are eligible for 100 percent financing
- Make Available Programs for Damaged or Destroyed Properties - HUD's Section 203(k) loan program enables homebuyers and homeowners who have lost their homes to finance both the purchase and/or refinancing of a house and the cost of its rehabilitation through a single mortgage. It also allows homeowners who have damaged houses to finance the rehabilitation of their existing single-family home. This program encourages lenders to make mortgages available to borrowers who would not otherwise qualify for conventional loans on affordable terms and to residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods
- Provide Temporary Housing and Shelter - HUD is working with FEMA to identify vacant multi-family housing, public housing units and HUD-owned homes that can be used as temporary housing for those forced from their homes
- Reprogram and Accelerate Federal Block Grants - HUD will permit communities to redistribute Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and HOME funds for disaster recovery efforts
- Provide Section 108 Loan Guarantees - HUD will permit state and local governments participating in the CDBG program to obtain federally guaranteed loans for housing rehabilitation, economic development and repair of public infrastructure; HUD also plans to provide funding to public housing authorities to rehabilitate damaged properties after insurance proceeds have been exhausted.
HUD TIPS IN REBUILDING YOUR HOME: