- Donna Burge
Homeowners in the Path of Hurricane Ida Require Attention – Now
Some things are important. Some things are urgent. Sometimes things are both important and urgent. In the wake of Hurricane Ida, the situation for homeowners in the Southeast is both important and urgent.
We need only to recall the 110,000 homes lost in Hurricane Katrina to understand the magnitude and implications. To this day, many of the homes lost then have not been recovered and those homeowners were left with little or nothing from which to re-build their lives.
4 Steps To Help Impacted Homeowners
First, the government housing agencies (FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) need to grant temporary forbearance to suspend mortgage payments during the recovery period for those homeowners severely affected by Hurricane Ida.
Next, insurance companies need to set up emergency processes to expedite repairs in order to minimize damages and costs related to delays.
Lastly, FEMA should make available emergency funds to help victims with extraordinary expenses related to the disaster.
These, among others, are all well-established steps in the disaster recovery process.
Unless Policy Makers intervene, that Foreclosure of Opportunity will continue to exacerbate Crisis # 2.
The frustration is mounting across America from aspiring homeowners unable to compete with “cash offers” from Investors wishing to buy single family homes for rental. These Investors know the capital outlay is reasonably small for them – they can get nice returns from the rent income and they get nearly unprecedented property appreciation (return on investment). Frankly – aspiring homeowners that need 45-60 days to process a loan approval HAVE NO CHANCE to compete against these cash offers from Investors.
But Policy Makers could level the playing field for many aspiring homeowners by demanding a “First Look” opportunity for owner-occupant purchasers that is no less than 120 days instead of the historical 15 days to provide ample time to market the homes, avoid “pocket listings,” and secure owner-occupied financing. While Policy Makers might not be able to dictate terms such as this for the private market – they sure could on loans (and property) controlled by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA, Rural Housing, and other “government” entities. For those “Private Market” homes that would end up for sale – the Policy Makers could easily provide a tax incentive for sellers of these properties to sell to aspiring owner-occupant homeowners.
Preserve Existing Housing Stock With Intervention Measures
First, the government housing agencies (FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) need to grant temporary forbearance to suspend mortgage payments during the recovery period for those homeowners severely affected by Hurricane Ida.a..be important at any time but it is urgent when homeowners face not only this disaster but also a housing inventory crisis that severely limits their temporary or alternative hoSome of the critical items this government intervention program should address are:
the repair of damaged infrastructure to restore communities
the funding gaps for repairs and/or replacement of single-family homes that are not covered by homeowners’ property insurance.
temporary assistance for the consumers in distress to accommodate their housing needs until properties are repaired and habitable.
America’s Homeowner Alliance is committed to protect and promote sustainable homeownership for all segments of America. We work on priority issues that are URGENT and IMPORTANT. Relief from the impact of Hurricane Ida is undoubtedly urgent and important to these affected homeowners.
Policy makers need to provide recovery solutions – now!
To read more about the housing inventory crisis, click here.
Please add your voice by joining the AHA at: www.myaha.com