HUD Announces Waivers to Help Florida Communities Recover from Hurricane Ian

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced this week a package of 29 regulatory and administrative waivers aimed at helping communities in Florida accelerate their recovery from Hurricane Ian.

The announcement represents one of the largest collections of regulatory and administrative waivers ever issued by the Department at one time, and builds on other support HUD is providing in the wake of the storm.

“Hurricane Ian caused substantial damage to Florida communities and displaced many individuals and families from their homes,” said HUD Sec. Marcia. Fudge. “The waivers we are announcing today build on HUD’s continued post-disaster efforts and unprecedented aid from the Biden-Harris Administration, giving our state and local partners the flexibility they need to more expeditiously recover and rebuild from the storm. We will continue to do everything in its power to ensure that our response to the devastation of Hurricane Ian meets the magnitude of the crisis.”

The regulatory and administrative relief announced covers the following HUD programs: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), Housing Trust Fund (HTF), Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), and Continuum of Care (CoC). To expedite the use of these funds, HUD’s state and local partners can now access a waiver through a new simplified notification process. HUD’s flexibilities include:

Hurricane Ian disrupted communications networks. Therefore, HUD is waiving the normal communication requirements and allowing grantees to determine what constitutes reasonable notice and opportunity to comment.

Hurricane Ian caused extensive damage and destruction to the housing stock in certain impacted areas. To accelerate new housing construction, HUD is suspending normal rules to enable CDBG grantees to replace affordable housing units that were lost as a result of severe weather.

HUD recognizes that affected citizens may require additional time and effort to execute their recovery plans. Consequently, HUD will suspend a cap limiting CDBG expenditures for public services to 15 percent. HUD will temporarily allow CDBG grantees to pay for additional support services for individuals and families affected by Hurricane Ian. Services could include, but not be limited to, the provision of food, emergency shelter, case management, and related services to help residents in declared-disaster areas until long-term recovery resources become available.

HUD’s support for Florida communities extends beyond the package of waivers announced today. On September 30, following President Joe Biden’s major disaster declaration, HUD announced the implementation of federal disaster relief for the state of Florida to assist state, tribal, and local recovery efforts for areas affected by Hurricane Ian beginning on September 23, 2022, and continuing. This relief included making mortgage insurance available, providing flexibility to Public Housing Agencies and assisting with housing discrimination.

Additionally, the HUD team will continue its outreach and coordination efforts with our public and private housing partners to offer support in navigating recovery and ensure the safety of residents and a fair and equitable recovery for all of the families served.

HUD plays a critical role in delivering support to communities with major disaster declaration status. After these disasters, local HUD leadership works with elected officials to check-in and offer general support in their time of need. HUD will identify points of alignment between issues raised and available HUD resources.

HUD also coordinates with federal inter-agency partners on local needs.

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