HUD Tweaks Rules to Help House Hurricane Victims

by devteam December 5th, 2012 | Share

Families in areas hard-hit byrnHurricane Sandy will get a little extra help if they qualify for rentalrnassistance.  The Department of Housingrnand Urban Development (HUD) will now permit public housing agencies to increaserna payment standard up to 120 percent of the published “Fair Market Rent” inrnaffected areas.  This reflects the higherrnrents in areas in and around New York City as well as the tight rental marketrnand is one of several actions HUD is takingrnto cut red tape to help families who were forced from their homes and requirernalternative housing. </p

Families will continue to pay their required portion of thernrent, typically 30 percent of adjusted monthly income, but because of thernincrease in the maximum subsidy, displaced families will be able to affordrnhousing they could not under the regular payment standard.  The measure also prevents displacement ofrnHUD-assisted families if rents increase because of damage and destruction to rentalrnstock in the disaster areas. </p

“We understand that in the wake of a disaster like Sandy,rnavailable rental housing becomes increasingly difficult to find, especially forrnlower income families,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, who President Obamarnrecently appointed to oversee long-term disaster redevelopment in the disasterrnregion.  “Simply by giving local housing authorities greater flexibilityrnin calculating rental assistance to these families can make all the differencernin finding a suitable home or not.” </p

HUD is also cutting red tape in other areas in response to Sandy.  These changes include allowing senior housingrnproviders to rent vacant units to hurricane evacuees under the age of 55rnwithout jeopardizing their exemptions under the Fair Housing Act and relaxing federal regulations forrndozens of ‘participating jurisdictions’ in impacted areas so they can quicklyrnrehabilitate single-family housing and to use vacant rental units to houserndisplaced families. 

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About the Author


Steven A Feinberg (@CPAsteve) of Appletree Business Services LLC, is a PASBA member accountant located in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

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