Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday that $140 million dollars would be funneled to communities recovering from Hurricane Irma to help build affordable housing in those areas.
That money will be paired with another $21.1 million to help recovery efforts in Monroe County.
“I’m proud to announce $140 million in funding to assist Floridians recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Irma,” DeSantis said in a release on the affordable housing funds.
“Communities across our state have demonstrated incredible resilience following recent natural disasters and my administration remains committed to assisting in recovery efforts with all available resources.”
The money will be issued as part of an agreement between the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (Florida Housing). The fund will be administered by Florida Housing and was issued as part of the state’s Rebuild Florida program.
The Rebuild Florida program has already begun helping homeowners rebuild. Gov. DeSantis recently announced a $40 million loan program to aid recovering businesses as well.
“Florida Housing is honored to work with the Department of Economic Opportunity and Gov. DeSantis to address the severe housing needs of those families devastated by Hurricane Irma,” said Florida Housing Executive Director Trey Price.
“The [Community Development Block Grant] disaster recovery funding will be paired with other resources to help rebuild rental housing stock in the Florida Keys and other areas of Florida hard hit by this widespread storm.”
DeSantis followed that news by noting another $21.1 million would go to Monroe County to deal with “debris removal, emergency protective measures and damage to other facilities” following the storm’s strike in Sept. 2017.
“I’m proud to announce that more funding is going to Monroe County today and I’ll continue to use my full executive authority to provide this funding as quickly as possible.,” DeSantis said.
That money is being awarded by the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM), run by former state Rep. Jared Moskowitz.
“We have made it clear that cities and counties waiting years to receive their hurricane recovery funding is unacceptable,” Moskowitz said.
“Today’s announcement is yet another example of the success of the new processes we’ve put in place to get this funding out as quickly as possible.”
The state government under DeSantis has continued to push for additional funding for communities affected by Irma. Though the storm made landfall back in 2017, it is still causing problems in South Florida. Over Irma’s duration, evacuation orders were issued for areas covering 5.6 million people. It caused at least $50 billion in damage.
In early June, DeSantis announced $78.1 million for recovery efforts in Miami-Dade County. Weeks later he highlighted another $75 million for the citrus industry to help recoup losses attributed to the storm.
“Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, we have prioritized the rebuilding of Florida’s communities impacted by Hurricane Irma,” said Ken Lawson, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
“The Rebuild Florida Workforce Housing Program is a critical step to help these communities and address affordable workforce housing shortages exacerbated by Hurricane Irma.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also recently added another $10 million aimed at cleanup efforts in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.