HUD offers disaster relief to California wildfire victims

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Thursday it will offer relief to disaster victims of the recent California wildfires.

As of Wednesday, wildfires that raged across northern California left a death toll of 42. The number of missing people peaked at more than 2,000, but since then shrank back down to 50 people missing.

The fires are being called the deadliest and most destructive in the state’s history. About 3,000 homes were destroyed in Santa Rosa alone.

Last week, President Donald Trump issued a disaster declaration for Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sonoma and Yuba counties.

Now, HUD is offering disaster assistance to these areas. That relief will include foreclosure suspensions and other assistance to certain homeowners in the affected counties.

Here are the programs HUD announced are available for homeowners in the declared disaster area:

Immediate foreclosure relief: HUD announced it will grant a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures for Federal Housing Administration-insured home mortgages. HUD explained there are tens of thousands of FHA-insured homeowners in the impacted areas.

Forbearance and loan modification options: HUD is offering forbearance and loan modifications for FHA borrowers in the disaster areas.

Making mortgage insurance available: HUD will provide FHA insurance to disaster victims who have lost their homes and must rebuild or buy another home. Borrowers are eligible for 100% financing, including closing costs from FHA-approved lenders.

Making insurance available for both mortgages and home rehabilitation: HUD’s Section 203 loan program enables homeowners who lost their home to finance the purchase or refinance of a house along with its repair through a single mortgage. It also allows homeowners who have damaged homes to finance its rehabilitation.

HUD also announced it would be sharing information with FEMA and the state on housing providers that could have available units in the impacted counties including public housing agencies and multifamily owners.

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