Disaster Relief

Disaster ReliefIn the event of a Presidentially Declared Disaster (PDD), federal agencies such as HUD and Treasury may waive certain program requirements in disaster-impacted areas. Different rules apply to different programs and in some cases states must make formal application to the appropriate federal agency. The resources below are designed to help HFAs navigate the procedures for obtaining disaster relief amongst the various federal housing programs.

To qualify for disaster relief, the federal government must first issue a disaster declaration for an area or areas within your state. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website will help you determine if your state has received a federal disaster declaration.

NCSHA has organized helpful resources under the following headers:


U.S. Treasury/Internal Revenue Service

Housing Credit:

In the event of a PDD and upon the request of a State Housing Credit allocating agency, the IRS may issue a notice suspending certain Housing Credit program requirements for owners that provide temporary housing to individuals residing in certain major disaster areas who have been displaced because their residences have been destroyed or damaged as a result of the disaster.

IRS Notices:

Tax Exempt Bonds:

In the event of a PDD, the IRS may postpone certain requirements of the tax exempt bond program for disaster-impacted areas.

Housing and Urban Development

HUD provides a variety of disaster resources with rules that vary depending on the program. The following link provides guidance for dealing with disaster-impacted properties funded through FHA, Ginnie Mae, Public and Indian Housing, HOME, CDBG, and for maintaining compliance with the Fair Housing Act.

Chapter 38 of the HUD Handbook 4350.1, Multifamily Asset Management and Project Servicing, covers the many different aspects of servicing multifamily properties that were damaged or vacated as a result of a PDD.

National Housing Locator System (NHLS):

HUD’s NHLS is a response to lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina and related disasters. The NHLS is a searchable, web-based clearinghouse of available rental housing nationwide. It allows HUD and its business partners, in particular, State Housing Authorities, Public Housing Authorities, and critical First Responders, to deliver housing assistance by rapidly locating rental housing and available government-owned single family homes for sale during an emergency.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

In areas affected by natural disasters, USDA can help existing Rural Development borrowers who are victims of a disaster. The links below provide information on disaster assistance options:

RD Multifamily Housing (MFH) – Disaster Guidance to RD State Offices

RD Handbook 2-3560

USDA maintains a Multi-Family Housing Rentals search website for individuals and families looking for rental housing.

Assistance to Individuals and States

If the federal government makes assistance available directly to individuals after a disaster, the following website provides information on obtaining help before, during and after a disaster: http://www.disasterassistance.gov/

In addition, tax relief may be available to individuals and businesses in the event of a disaster:

Tax Relief in Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas

Tax Relief in Disaster Situations

To assist State, Tribal, and local governments, FEMA administers a Public Assistance (PA) Grant program to help communities to quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or PDDs. Through the PA program, FEMA provides supplemental Federal disaster grant assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities and the facilities of certain Private Non-Profit (PNP) organizations. The PA Program also encourages protection of these damaged facilities from future events by providing assistance for hazard mitigation measures during the recovery process.

The following link provides further information about the PA program:


State Disaster Relief Programs 

In addition to federal assistance, States have created their own disaster relief programs including forms and procedures that may be helpful to other states. Examples of these are provided below: