Category Archives: government

HUD to Help Struggling Homeowners at Risk of Foreclosure Due to Hurricane Sandy

WASHINGTON – In an effort to expand relief to homeowners impacted by Hurricane Sandy, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, who also chairs the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, today announced a series of additional measures to allow families to get back on their feet without having to face the prospect of foreclosure.

“As we work to rebuild entire neighborhoods, we can’t forget that homeowners need some breathing room as they put their lives back together,” said Donovan. “We recognize that families need relief, and by offering expanded forbearance and streamlined loan modifications, FHA is working to provide homeowners with an affordable and permanent mortgage solution.”

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, FHA, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac put in place foreclosure and eviction moratoriums on the initiation or commencement of foreclosure actions against homeowners whose properties were damaged or destroyed due to Hurricane Sandy. In January they extended the moratoriums, which apply to homeowners in Presidentially Declared Major Disaster Areas eligible for individual assistance, through April 30, 2013.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has already instructed FHA-approved lenders to make every effort to communicate with and assist affected borrowers in rebuilding or repairing damaged properties, minimizing delinquencies and retaining their homes.

In addition to relief offered through HUD’s Loss Mitigation Program, today, FHA is expanding forbearance relief for affected borrowers.  Under this policy:

  • Borrowers may suspend up to 12 months’ worth of mortgage payments while they repair their homes; and
  • After the forbearance period, borrowers may be eligible for an FHA streamlined loan modification to avoid large lump sum payments.

Up to 285,922 borrowers in the Sandy-affected areas who were eligible for forbearance relief as of February 28, 2013, may be eligible for an FHA streamlined modification. 

This new loss mitigation option aligns with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) to provide borrowers coming out of forbearance a streamlined loan modification that will not require a financial assessment.  FHA recognizes that borrowers who were current at the time of the disaster should be provided an expedient means of transitioning out of forbearance into a permanent mortgage solution.

 

Read FHA’s Mortgagee Letter.

County Group Offers Sandy Recovery Services

Website launched for Long Term Recovery Group 

FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Long Term Recovery Group (LTRG), a group whose goal is to provide recovery services to individuals and families affected by disasters in Monmouth County, has officially launched their website.

The website serves as a catalyst through which individuals can attain and request information on assistance programs for disaster recovery.

“The Long Term Recovery Group’s website is a great resource for those affected by Superstorm Sandy,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso, an executive board member of the group. “We encourage residents to learn about the services available to them as they continue to work through the recovery process and put their lives back together.”

LTRG’s website reminds Monmouth County residents to register with FEMA prior to May 1 in order to benefit from the services they provide. There is a link to the website from www.visitmonmouth.com.

“Monmouth County residents were dealt a devastating blow and now it is time to pick up the pieces,” said Freeholder John P. Curley, liaison to the County Human Services Department. “The Long Term Recovery Group has been established to help residents through every step of that process.”

For more information visit http://mcltrg.org/, call 732-938-5988 or email [email protected].

Pallone Announces Bill to Help Fishing Industry Recoup Post-Sandy

The First Sandy Supplemental Aid Bill Will Assist in Recovery of Fisheries Disaster and Plug Shortfall in Sandy Relief Package 

BELFORD, NJ – Today at the Belford Seafood Co-op, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) announced his plan to introduce the first Superstorm Sandy supplemental emergency aid bill that will assist the fishing industry and coastal communities badly impacted by the storm. Pallone’s legislation provides $193 million to fully fund the estimated cost to recover storm affected fisheries.  

The funding would support both commercial and recreational fishing industries. Recreational fishing infrastructure such as marinas, tackle and bait stores and public access points for fishing that were impacted by Sandy will be eligible for funds under the bill.  Pallone spoke today with commercial fishermen to discuss the damage they suffered and what assistance is needed for a full recovery.

“Fishing is a strong contributor to the economy, providing our nation with fresh seafood and recreational opportunities,” said Pallone.  “Now, it is our turn to support our fishermen by making a commitment of fisheries disaster assistance that really takes into account the amount of damage they suffered.”

Continue reading Pallone Announces Bill to Help Fishing Industry Recoup Post-Sandy

Middletown Sandy Resource Fair To Be Held April 11

MIDDLETOWN, NJ – Middletown Township will hold a Superstorm Sandy Resource Fair on Thursday, April 11th from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Middletown VFW 2179 on Route 36 in Port Monmouth. The fair, which is being organized by the Middletown Volunteer Corps, is expected to include representatives from government agencies, non-profits, and relief organizations. Invited participants include FEMA and the SBA; the state departments of Banking and Insurance, Environmental Protection, and Community Affairs; the township’s Building and Planning Departments, Save Big Bread, Inc; and the Visiting Nurse Association. Updated information will be added to the township website at www.middletownnj.org as the event date draws closer.

Sandy Resource Fair Scheduled for April 11

MIDDLETOWN, NJ – Middletown Township will hold a Superstorm Sandy Resource Fair on Thursday, April 11 from 2:00 pm to 8pm at Middletown VFW 2179 on Route 36 in Port Monmouth. The fair, which is being organized by the Middletown Volunteer Corps, is expected to include representatives from government agencies, non-profits, and relief organizations. Invited participants include FEMA and the SBA; the state departments of Banking and Insurance, Environmental Protection, and Community Affairs; the township’s Building and Planning Departments, Save Big Bread, Inc; and the Visiting Nurse Association. Updated information will be added to the township’s website as the event date drawers closer.

HUD Releases Model Programs for Towns Applying for Community Development Block Grants

NEW YORK – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today released several model programs designed to help communities get Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds more expeditiously to residents struggling to rebuild, repair or restore their homes. These program designs can be adapted to a locality’s unique needs and readily implemented so each community does not have to develop entire new programs on their own.

“Providing these ready-made programs to communities will help them get resources where they are needed more effectively and efficiently,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, who also serves as Chair of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force. “We are committed to working with our federal, state, local and tribal partners to get assistance to families who are struggling to rebuild as quickly as possible.”

The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, signed into law by President Obama on January 29, included $16 billion in CDBG-DR funding. HUD announced the first allocation totaling $5.4 billion to five states and the City of New York eight days later. HUD will announce additional allocations in the coming months. HUD has worked closely with state and local partners to identify opportunities to expedite this assistance.

The model programs announced today cover three likely areas of need that communities would use CDBG-DR funding to meet:

  • Housing Rehabilitation: HUD has also developed a model of a program that would get CDBG-DR funds to homeowners to help them repair and rehabilitate their homes.
  • Housing Counseling: HUD is releasing a program guide that will support state and local governments using CDBG-DR funding to help affected homeowners connect with a reliable housing counselor in order to navigate the affordable options to rebuild, repair or relocate.   More than 100 HUD-approved housing counseling agencies, with proper training and support, are available to help homeowners assess what they can afford, negotiate with insurance and mortgage companies, apply for affordable home repair loans and grants, and get their finances and their home stable and secure.  With an investment of CDBG-DR funds, housing counselors would be able to provide this service free to homeowners and be an important safeguard against scammers that are unfortunately taking advantage of an already vulnerable population
  • Housing Buyouts: Buying out homeowners in particularly flood-prone areas can be a cost-effective option to reduce future risk. The model program announced today reflects the potential importance of such programs and the need to ensure that any such process is locally driven.

These programs could be funded with the first round of CDBG-DR funding or with subsequent rounds and could be used by state, local and county governments applying for CDBG-DR funding.  HUD has worked closely with a range of federal, state and local stakeholders to develop these programs and is committed to working with them as needed to help communities meet their unique needs.

Middletown Schedules Sandy Resource Fair for April 11

MIDDLETOWN, NJ – Middletown Township will hold a Superstorm Sandy Resource Fair on Thursday, April 11th from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Middletown VFW 2179 on Route 36 in Port Monmouth. The fair, which is being organized by the Middletown Volunteer Corps, is expected to include representatives from government agencies, non-profits, and relief organizations. Invited participants include FEMA and the SBA; the state departments of Banking and Insurance, Environmental Protection, and Community Affairs; the township’s Building and Planning Departments, Save Big Bread, Inc; and the Visiting Nurse Association. Updated information will be added to the township website at www.middletownnj.org as the event date draws closer.

HUD Grants Renew Support for 176 Local Housing and Service Projects

NEW JERSEY – U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan today awarded over $24 million to renew support for 176 local homeless housing and service programs in New Jersey.  Provided through HUD’s Continuum of Care programs, the funding announced today will ensure these HUD-assisted local homeless assistance programs remain operating in the coming year.  Later this year, HUD will award additional grant funding to support hundreds of other local programs, including new projects.  View a complete list of all the New Jersey homeless projects awarded funding.

            “The evidence is clear that every dollar we spend on those programs that help find a stable home for our homeless neighbors not only saves money but quite literally saves lives,” said Donovan.  “We know these programs work and we know these grants can mean the difference between homeless persons and families finding stable housing or living on our streets.”

Continue reading HUD Grants Renew Support for 176 Local Housing and Service Projects

Croydon Hall Relief Center to Close

croydonMIDDLETOWN, NJ – The Croydon Relief Center, which was opened in the wake of Superstorm Sandy last year to provide emergency assistance to storm victims, will close April 1st.

Middletown’s Volunteer Corps, which manages the center, has teamed up with Project Paul to ensure that residents can continue to access direct assistance such as food and clothes. The Croydon Hall Relief Center will remain open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 2pm through end of March.  

Remaining supplies housed at the Croydon Hall gym will be given to Project Paul as of April 1st.  Project Paul, located at 211 Carr Avenue in Keansburg, has been providing food, clothing and assistance with living expenses to the needy since 1980. Project Paul, a non-profit organization, offers the largest independent food pantry in Monmouth County, a thrift and furniture store, beds and mattresses to qualified residents, free income tax preparation and educational assistance. 

In addition, the township is planning a Superstorm Sandy Resource Fair. Expected participants include representatives from FEMA, the state, non-profits, relief organizations and banking and insurance assistance. Event details will soon be posted to the township’s web page.

After hundreds of residents came forward to help their neighbors after Superstorm Sandy, the Township Committee officially established the Middletown Volunteer Corps in 2012 to manage the township’s wealth of kind-hearted volunteers, explained Mayor Gerard P. Scharfenberger.

“The Volunteer Corps is doing an outstanding job managing volunteer services during the recovery phase of Superstorm Sandy,” said Mayor Scharfenberger. “I’m looking forward to reviewing their suggestions regarding the permanent structure and mission of the Volunteer Corps as well as strategies for recruitment and retention of volunteers who will help in future emergencies and with community activities such as Middletown Day.”

Call 732-787-4887 for more information on Project Paul. Additional food pantries in the area include the Matawan United Methodist Pantry, Holy Family and St John’s Pantry in Hazlet, Keyport Ministerium, Calico Cat in Middletown, Middletown Assembly of God, and St. Anthony’s Food Pantry in Red Bank.