Housing Assistance

Compendium of Local Emergency Ordinances – Housing

The CA Housing and Community Development Department (HCD) compiled a list of emergency ordinances and other actions by local government following the 2017 fires, which may serve as a helpful tool for recovery and rebuilding following fires or other disasters.

Equal Housing Protection

Homebuyers and Tenants Have Protection from Housing Discrimination Under California Civil Rights Laws

Homeowners, homebuyers and tenants have protection from housing discrimination under California Civil Rights laws through the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). DFEH is responsible for enforcing state fair housing laws that make it illegal to discriminate because of the categories listed below under “Who is Protected?” The law applies to landlords, real estate agents, home sellers, builders, mortgage lenders, and others. The law prohibits discrimination in all aspects of the housing business, including: Renting or leasing, sales, mortgage lending and insurance, advertising, and practices such as restrictive covenants, as well as permitting new construction.


U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Disaster Assistance

USDA Rural Development delivers a number of programs to help improve the quality of life in rural communities throughout the nation. These programs may also help rural communities, businesses and individuals impacted by a disaster such as fire, drought or earthquakes.

USDA Rural Development Disaster Assistance Fact Sheet

USDA California Rural Development Website

USDA Rural Area Maps – Click on Single Family Direct, Accept, then type in the address.

Additional Resources


USDA Rural Development (RD) – Single Family Housing – 502 Direct Low and Very-Low Income Home Ownership

USDA RD – Rural Development Rural Repair and Rehabilitation Loan and Grant (Section 504) Program

USDA RD – Multi-Family Housing Program

  • For individuals whose property was destroyed by a declared disaster
  • Applications accepted on an annual basis
  • Link to website


USDA RD – Rural Energy for American Program (REAP)

  • For agricultural producers or small businesses in eligible rural areas
  • Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Guaranteed Loans – continuous application cycle
  • Application window opening/closing dates for other programs not posted on USDA website
  • Link to website

Both Individuals and Organizations:

USDA RD – Business & Cooperative Programs

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

It is best to contact your homeowner’s insurance provider and mortgage lender as soon as possible to notify them of the condition of your property and to obtain their assistance in your recovery effort.

If your current mortgage is insured by FHA you will receive an immediate 90-day moratorium on foreclosure and forbearance if your home is located in a presidentially-declared disaster area. For more information on disaster relief for FHA borrowers please go here.

For more information on disaster relief for FHA borrowers please go here.

These extensions are only applicable to the Individual Assistance Areas within each PDMDA.

The following programs are available through an FHA-approved lender without regard to your current financing type:

  • Section 203(h) Mortgage for Disaster Victims Program

    This program allows FHA-approved lenders to provide financing to individuals and families (homeowners or renters) whose residences were destroyed or damaged to such an extent that reconstruction or replacement is necessary. This program allows 100% financing for the purchase or reconstruction of a home, however, closing costs and prepaid expenses not paid by the seller must be paid by the borrower in cash or through premium financing.

  • Section 203(k) Rehabilitation Mortgage Insurance Program

    This program enables those who have lost their homes to finance the purchase or refinance of a house along with its repair through a single mortgage. Damaged residences are eligible for Section 203(k) mortgage insurance regardless of the age of the property when the property is located in a presidentially-declared disaster area. The residences need only to have been completed and ready for occupancy for eligibility under Section 203(k).

Lenders may use Section 203(k) in combination with Section 203(h) for disaster rehabilitation.
To locate an FHA-approved lender please go here.

More Resources from HUD

To find more information about HUD and FHA disaster relief programs, please visit the HUD disaster resources site here.

To find out more about the Federal Housing Administration’s primary disaster mortgage insurance program, click here.

You can locate a local housing counseling agency by calling (800) 569-4287 or visit here.

For policy information see Handbook 4000.1 II.A.8.a and II.A.8.b here.

Please visit the HUD Environmental page for:

  • Environmental review information and staff contacts
  • HUD Disaster Recovery and Environment information
  • Combine the state and federal environmental review
  • The Council on Environmental Quality and CA Governor’s Office of Planning and Research Handbook for integrating CA and Federal ERs.

Historic Preservation Section 106 agreements: 

Multiple agencies may enter into a cooperating agreement to complete the environmental review and historic preservation consultation.  Contact your local environmental office staff.