Disaster Resources for Housing Advocates

A Resource Guide for Housing Advocates Assisting Communities Impacted by Disasters

2023 Maui Wildfires Resources

  • Review NHLP’s Advocacy Tip Sheet, Policy Advocacy Strategies for Combatting Evictions Following the Maui Wildfire
  • HUD-certified housing counselors are available to assist renters and homeowners displaced by the Maui Wildfires. To find a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, use HUD’s online search tool or phone search by calling (800) 569-4287 or (202) 708-1455 (TTY).
  • Federal Housing Agencies provide servicing relief for borrowers impacted by the Maui Wildfires: 
    • Starting August 10, 2023, FHA instituted a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures in Maui County. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Approved Mortgage Servicers must not initiate new, or continue with existing, foreclosure actions in Maui County during the moratorium. FHA has extended the foreclosure moratorium through August 4, 2024. See Mortgagee Letter 2024-08, Second Extension of the Foreclosure Moratorium in Connection with the Presidentially-Declared Major Disaster in Maui County, Hawaii.
    • For Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Backed Mortgages, servicers are authorized to offer a forbearance plan for up to 90 days – even without establishing contact with the homeowner – if the servicer believes the home was affected by the disaster. Impacted Homeowners may be eligible to reduce or suspend their mortgage payments for up to 12 months by entering into a forbearance plan with their mortgage servicer. During this temporary reduction or pause in payments, homeowners will not incur late fees and foreclosure and other legal proceedings are suspended.
    • USDA Servicing Relief for Borrowers Impacted by the Maui Wildfires – Homeowners participating in USDA’s Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program that have been impacted by the Maui wildfires may be eligible for temporary relief from the holder or service of their loan. USDA has instituted a 180-day moratorium on initiating new foreclosures as well as on existing foreclosure actions In addition, Borrowers may be placed on a forbearance of up to 12 months to provide payment relief from their mortgage obligation during this time.

General Resources for Advocates

  • Immigration Status and Eligibility for Emergency Disaster Relief – In general, all individuals, regardless of immigration status, who are affected by a major disaster are eligible to receive nonmonetary, in-kind, emergency disaster relief, including medical care, shelter, food, and water. Additionally, charitable non-profit agencies can also provide assistance regardless of someone’s immigration status. FEMA has also issued a Fact Sheet that addresses which disaster assistance programs require an eligible immigration status, and the ability of undocumented disaster survivors to apply, even if the only eligible family member is a minor child.
  • For a more detailed analysis on immigration status and eligibility for federal emergency relief programs, review NHLP’s Memo on Immigration Requirements (updated September 2023). This updated memo addresses the immigration requirements for a wide range of federal emergency relief programs for housing and homelessness, energy, disaster, and water, including ESG, CDBG, HOME, FEMA, RUSH, LIHEAP, LIWHAP, CRF, and ERAP. 
  • Advocates for Disaster Justice is a national network of over 650 U.S. based legal advocates working to advance equity, rights and resilience in communities impacted by disasters. They maintain a website with resources and trainings for advocates. 

Federal Housing Program Disaster Resources

  • HUD MFH Disaster Guidance Website – Houses Chapter 38, “Multifamily Emergency/Disaster Guidance,” of the HUD Asset Management Handbook 4350.1 Rev-1 Chg-2, which provides HUD’s current policies and procedures on disaster recovery for HUD’s Multifamily Housing Programs after a Presidentially-Declared Disaster.
  • PHA Disaster Preparedness Website – Contains HUD’s recently updated PHA Disaster Readiness, Response, and Recovery Guidebook (September 2022), which provides guidance to PHA’s on preparing for, responding to and recovering from a disaster. The Guidebook also details PHA obligations as well as best practices for meeting the short-term and long-term housing needs of public housing residents and Housing Choice Voucher participants impacted by disasters. Finally, the page provides resources for residents and PHAs, including the PHA Disaster Readiness, Response, and Recovery Webinar Series, which details best practices for responding to a variety of disasters, including hurricanes, extreme temperatures, wildfire, tornadoes, and flooding.