Governor Rick Scott today announced the state’s action plan for the $616 million allocated to Florida’s long-term recovery efforts from Hurricane Irma has been submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The funding comes to the state through the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program and will be used to replace and repair damaged homes, build new affordable housing and provide grants to severely impacted businesses. HUD now has 45 days to provide feedback or to approve the plan. CDBG-DR funding is provided to a state after all other resources have already been exhausted, including federal assistance through FEMA and the Small Business Administration as well as private insurance.
Governor Scott said, “Even before Hurricane Irma made landfall, we began working with the federal government to express the diverse needs our state would face following a storm of this magnitude and how best to address those needs. Since the storm, we have worked tirelessly along-side community and business leaders to build stronger communities that are better prepared for future disasters. I’m glad that DEO submitted this plan to help families in our state.”
This federal grant program requires that at least 80 percent of funding be used to address needs in the hardest-hit counties and ZIP codes as determined by HUD. These areas include Brevard, Broward, Collier, Duval, Lee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Orange, Polk and Volusia counties, as well as ZIP codes 32136, 32091, 32068 and 34266.
Over the past few months, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) visited with each of the 14 hardest-hit communities to hear directly from community leaders about their remaining needs following Hurricane Irma. Additionally, surveys were sent to each community, seeking input on how to best support local long-term recovery.
Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of DEO, “We are thankful to these communities for their commitment and partnership to determine the best way to use this funding to make a difference across the state. We are committed to helping Floridians recover, particularly families who do not have the resources to rebound as quickly after a disaster.”
Together, with Florida’s hardest-hit communities, the state has proposed to allocate the majority of CDBG-DR funding to address housing needs through programs that:
- Repair and replace damaged homes;
- Construct hundreds of new affordable rental housing units;
- Purchase land for the development of affordable housing; and
- Provide assistance through grants to support impacted businesses.
Additionally, the state action plan includes opportunities to address critical economic and infrastructure needs in our urban centers and rural communities, specifically those of the Florida Keys which experienced the brunt of this devastating storm. Also, this plan helps to support the needs of new Floridians who moved to our state from Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.
For more information about the CDBG-DR program or to view the state action plan, click here.