U.S. Offers Mortgage Relief to Homeowners Hurt by Sandy

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has ordered a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures for homeowners with federally insured mortgages in four states recovering from superstorm Sandy.

The agency is also allowing officials in Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey to re-allocate federal housing funds toward services for survivors of the disaster.

“Families who may have been forced from their homes need to know that help is available to begin the rebuilding process,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, who visited storm victims who live in public housing in New York over the weekend.

Through the Federal Housing Administration, an arm of HUD, residents of the four states also can obtain as much as 100 percent financing to rebuild their houses or purchase new homes.

The agency is also gathering information on housing providers who may have units available to shelter displaced families, Donovan said in a written statement.

As many as 10,000 residents of New York City will need housing, the city’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg said yesterday. Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP, yesterday appointed former Federal Emergency Management Agency official Brad Gair to head the city’s housing recovery effort.

“Whether it’s foreclosure relief for families with FHA- insured loans or helping these counties to recover, HUD stands ready to help,” Donovan said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Clea Benson in Washington at cbenson20@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Maura Reynolds at mreynolds34@bloomberg.net

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