Florida to distribute $616 million for affordable housing and business assistance

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, following a meeting with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, Governor Rick Scott announced the approval to distribute $616 million to local communities for Florida’s long-term recovery efforts from last year’s hurricane season. During the meeting, the Governor also discussed the importance of this funding in helping those displaced by Hurricane Maria. Through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program, this funding will be used to replace and repair damaged homes, build new affordable housing and provide grants to impacted businesses. Funds will be administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO).

Governor Scott said, “It’s great news that we were able to secure critical funding from HUD that will directly benefit the families who were most affected by last year’s storms. This $616 million will enable communities to build new affordable housing and to replace homes lost in the wake of last year’s hurricane season. Through this program, we can continue to move forward with long-term affordable housing solutions for displaced families as well as provide grants to businesses who were impacted by the storm. We won’t stop working until all of Florida’s communities have fully recovered.”

Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of DEO, said, “Our team has worked diligently with community leaders from across the state to create a strong plan to address continued housing and business recovery needs. We value all communities and their willingness to come to the table to determine the best way to use this funding to make a difference for Floridians who were hit the hardest by Hurricane Irma. Under Governor Scott’s leadership, our agency is working to ensure that this funding builds back stronger communities that are better prepared for future disasters so that Florida families and businesses can flourish.”

As required of the plan, more than 80 percent of the funding will be used to address needs in the hardest-hit counties and ZIP codes. These areas, determined by HUD, include Brevard, Broward, Collier, Duval, Lee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Orange, Polk and Volusia counties, as well as ZIP codes 32136, 32091, 32068 and 34266.

Together, with Florida’s hardest-hit communities, the state will allocate the majority of CDBG-DR funding to address housing needs through programs that:

Repair and replace damaged homes; Construct 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. Support for new Floridians who moved to our state from Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria is also included in the plan.

For more information about the CDBG-DR program or to view the approved state action plan, click here.

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