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Texas Homeowners Are Eligible for Disaster Assistance

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Monday announced the implementation of federal disaster assistance for the State of Texas to provide support to homeowners and homebuyers in areas affected by the severe winter storm.

President Biden last Friday issued a major disaster declaration for the following counties in Texas: Angelina, Aransas, Bastrop, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Brazoria, Brazos, Brown, Burleson, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Collin, Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, DeWitt, Ellis, Falls, Fort Bend, Galveston, Gillespie, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hood, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Kaufman, Kendall, Lavaca, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Maverick, McLennan, Montague, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Nueces, Orange, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Polk, Rockwall, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Scurry, Shelby, Smith, Stephens, Tarrant, Travis, Tyler, Upshur, Van Zandt, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Wharton, Wichita, Williamson, Wilson, and Wise.

The declaration allows for HUD-assisted foreclosure relief outlined below as well as other assistance to impacted households living in these counties, according to HUD:

  • Provision of immediate foreclosure relief—HUD’s automatic 90-day moratorium on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages commenced for the Texas counties covered under the Presidential declaration on the date of the declaration. Additionally, borrowers who cannot make their mortgage payment, are urged to call their loan servicer, the entity to which they make their mortgage payment.
  • 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. For those that are facing the daunting task of rebuilding or buying another home, Section 203(h) allows eligible borrowers to receive 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. For a list of HUD-approved lenders in your area, use our online search tool.
  • Ensuring HUD-approved housing counseling agencies are ready to assist—HUD-approved housing counseling agencies have counselors available to assist those who are impacted by natural disasters to determine assistance needs and available resources. Find a HUD-approved housing counseling agency.
  • Making information on housing providers and HUD programs available—The department will share information with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State on housing providers that may have available units in the impacted counties. This includes Public Housing Agencies and owners of HUD-assisted multifamily properties. The Department will also connect FEMA and the State to subject matter experts to provide information on HUD programs and providers. See notice for Public Housing Agencies on disaster waivers and administrative flexibilities.

According to the White House, Robert J. Fenton, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Jerry S. Thomas as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas.

Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

About Author: Christina Hughes Babb

Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media/Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning news, among others.
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