In Nashville on Monday, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan said he’s ordered all Federal Housing Administration lenders to place a 90-day moratorium on all home foreclosures in Tennessee’s flood disaster areas.
“It is simply wrong for a family that has been struck by a natural disaster like you’ve seen here in Nashville, across Tennessee, to be victimized again by foreclosures because they cannot make their payment,” Donovan said. “So we have declared all FHA lenders are putting in place a 90-day moratorium.”
In addition, Donovan said his department’s community and development block grant has allotted more than $29 million across Tennessee for 2010, $17 million to be used to rebuild housing. Approximately $9 million is available to Nashville.
Financial resources available through this grant will be redirected to specifically address flood victims, he said.
Through the department’s section 203(k) program, Donovan said flood victims have the opportunity to receive loans that can help them rebuild their homes. He urged all flood victims to call 1-800-621-FEMA for assistance.
Guided by Mayor Karl Dean and U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, Donovan and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke on Monday toured parts of downtown Nashville’s business district, one of the parts hit worst by last weekend’s record flooding.
According to Locke, more than 18,000 Tennesseans have already registered for federal assistance, and $29 million worth of federal aid has been approved. So far, 42 Tennessee counties have been declared disaster areas.
“We’re not delaying until all the damage is cleaned up and everything’s been repaired,” Locke said. “We’re beginning now to assess the needs of the community to make sure that Nashville comes back stronger and better than ever before.”
Tomorrow, Karen Mills, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, will be in Nashville where’s she expected to announce the opening of up to 14 small business centers to help companies hurt by the flooding start to rebuild.
“We want businesses to be strong because they hire people,” Locke said. “We want businesses back on their feet as quickly as possible because we want people in the area to have jobs.”
In the last several days, Dean has made clear that Nashville is “still open for business,” despite losses from the recent flood.
A key weekend circled by Dean and the downtown business community is June 10-13 when LP Field will play host to the CMA Music Festival. The event is expected draw some 32,000 visitors to downtown.