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A month after Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast, hundreds of families continue their daily struggle to put their lives back together. Many of their homes destroyed, these families face living in temporary dwellings like area hotels and relatives’ homes. Their children are staying far away from their schools and some families are facing a decision whether they can move back to their old neighborhoods or whether they may have to relocate permanently.
Here at the Disaster Recovery Center in Union Beach, New Jersey, letters from school children adorn the walls as reminder that some families still need help. These letters help raise the energy level, already running extremely high, as many of us are not only helping people, we’re helping our neighbors.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continue to work tirelessly so that every one of these families has a roof over their heads during this transition. HUD and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) are cutting red tape in an effort to help families by:
1. Instructing all FHA-approved lenders to release insurance proceeds to homeowners as quickly as possible to accelerate the rebuilding process;
2. Granting a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and forbearance on foreclosures for FHA-insured households whose homes were damaged or destroyed; and
3. Issuing guidance to help families with FHA-insured mortgages struggling to repair or rebuild their homes in the wake of a major disaster, plus directing lenders to release insurance proceeds to borrowing rather than to apply those payments to bring delinquent mortgages current.