FEMA to make temporary housing available in four counties struck by Hurricane Ian
Shelter residents at Herts Arena.

Hurricane Ian response
Trailers, manufactured homes and leased units will be available to eligible households.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide temporary housing in those counties hit hardest by Hurricane Ian. The support will be available in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto and Lee counties.

FEMA announced availability of support on Oct. 26, following a request from Gov. Ron DeSantis. The news came the same day DeSantis announced a deal with FEMA to quicken the debris removal process in Southwest Florida.

Federal officials said housing options should assist any individuals displaced, many who have been forced to live in shelters since the Category 4 storm made landfall nearly a month ago, on Sept. 28.

“FEMA is committed to helping Hurricane Ian survivors get a safe roof over their heads to jump-start their recovery as quickly as possible,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Tom McCool.

McCool said travel trailers and larger manufactured housing will come online in the four affected counties for eligible households.

“Although FEMA’s direct housing mission is only a temporary solution, our team remains committed to helping survivors find housing that best suits their needs,” McCool said. “With local government leaders building a shared vision for the future, FEMA and the federal family will work around the clock to help them achieve it.”

U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds, a Naples Republican, praised the announcement.

“Hundreds, if not thousands, of Florida District 19 residents are now facing the devastating fear of prolonged homelessness or displacement following the catastrophic damage resulting from Hurricane Ian. Since making landfall, I’ve worked around the clock with the Governor’s office, FEMA, the SBA (Small Business Administration), and local leaders to avert a housing crisis in our district.

“Today’s announcement by FEMA is a significant step in the right direction. Southwest Florida is incredibly grateful for Governor DeSantis’ leadership in requesting this vital aid and FEMA, who answered our plea for lifesaving assistance. My office will continue working with all parties to oversee a speedy and efficient allocation of these resources.”

Assistance will be provided for up to 18 months from President Joe Biden’s major disaster declaration on Sept. 29. Applications can be filed online at DisasterAssistance.gov, using the FEMA smartphone app or by calling 800-621-3362.

FEMA will offer three main options to eligible residents:

— In a Multifamily Lease and Repair agreement, FEMA will lease multifamily rental properties and make necessary repairs to provide temporary housing to applicants.

— With Transportable Temporary Housing Units, FEMA-owned travel trailers or manufactured homes will be made available.

— A Direct Lease program will lease ready-for-occupancy housing units that will be available for displaced individuals.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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