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Government assistance for homeowners: Natural disaster relief

natural disaster relief person repairing residential roof

The United States Government offers natural disaster relief options for homeowners affected by natural disasters.
Disaster assistance comes in a few different forms, including loans for home repairs, utility bills and property tax
relief.

To help you learn more about the kind of financial assistance available after a major disaster, here is a short guide
with the basics:

Disaster mortgage insurance

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers a program for homeowners who need financial help buying a new home or
repairing their existing home. As long as the home is your primary residence, you might be eligible for an insured
mortgage through the FHA. 

These mortgages have zero down payments, but come with all the usual closing costs and prepaid costs of other
mortgages.

Emergency help with utility bills & expenses

Even if your home does not sustain significant damage in a natural disaster, such scenarios can make it difficult to
afford utility repairs and expenses. Disaster relief funding available through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance
Program (LIHEAP) and can be used to pay your utility bills, reconnect utilities and repair or replace components
like furnaces or air conditioners.

Disaster-related tax relief

Disaster situations may also come with tax relief. Both homeowners and businesses are eligible to file an amended tax
return if they reside in a federally designated disaster area. The Internal Revenue Service also offers the option
to file for an extension after a disaster. 

These are a few of the disaster assistance programs offered by the U.S. federal government. Other forms of disaster
relief might be available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and can help you recover
financially from a wide variety of hazards.

 

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