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State to hold workshops on Hurricane Michael funds

Post Date:02/11/2020 11:00 AM

FROM THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE:

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the launch of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO) efforts to access more than $735 million for long-term recovery efforts for Hurricane Michael-impacted communities. These funds are available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program

“I thank Secretary Carson and the team at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for issuing the Federal Register so that Florida can access this long-awaited disaster recovery funding to benefit communities impacted by Hurricane Michael,” said Governor DeSantis. “This funding will not only help the residents in Northwest Florida repair their homes, but also help communities rebuild stronger, and more resilient.”

DEO will lead the state’s efforts in developing the State Action Plan that will provide a strategy for how the funding will be used to address eligible communities’ unmet, long-term recovery needs. The State Action Plan will be developed with input from our state and community partners, as well as citizens. After HUD reviews and approves Florida’s State Action Plan, HUD and DEO will sign a grant agreement to release the funding to be used for Hurricane Michael recovery projects.

“The catastrophic damage caused by Hurricane Michael left Floridians, their lives and homes scarred but not without hope,” said DEO Executive Director Ken Lawson. “Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, our team has already begun working to address the unmet needs of the communities in the Panhandle. With the announcement of this Federal Register, my team can continue moving forward and finalize our plans for long-term recovery and bring Rebuild Florida to communities in the Panhandle.”

DEO is holding public workshops in the following Hurricane Michael-impacted communities:

Bay CountyFriday, February 14, 9 – 11 a.m. CST, Gulf Coast State College Language and Literature Building, 5230 US-98, Panama City

Washington County: Wednesday, February 12, 9 – 11 a.m. CST, Washington County Agricultural Center, 1424 Jackson Ave., Chipley

Gulf County: Wednesday, February 12, 3:30 – 5 p.m. EST, Port St. Joe City Commission Chambers, 2775 Garrison Ave., Port St. Joe

Franklin County: Thursday, February 13, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. EST, City of Apalachicola Community Center, 1 Bay Avenue, Apalachicola

Calhoun County: Thursday, February 13, 4 – 6 p.m. CST, Calhoun County BOCC Meeting Room, 20816 Central Ave., East, Blountstown

Gadsden CountyFriday, February 14, 3-5 p.m. EST, Kelly Campbell Community Center, 415 Cooper St. Quincy

Jackson County: Wednesday, February 19, 3 – 5 p.m. CST, Chipola College Culture Center, 3094 Indian Circle, Marianna

In the coming weeks, DEO will announce other opportunities for community partners to learn more and provide input on the State Action Plan for Hurricane Michael recovery projects. In 2019, DEO launched a survey to engage with and seek input from local, state and federal partners on their unmet needs and long-term recovery priorities. DEO encourages all stakeholders, who have not done so already, to complete the online survey, found HERE.

DEO will finalize and submit the State Action Plan to HUD for review by June 1, 2020. Upon approval of the plan, DEO will work with state and local partners to distribute the federal funds to help homeowners rebuild and better protect Florida’s communities from future disasters.

In Florida, CDBG-DR funds are administered through the Rebuild Florida program. Rebuild Florida connects eligible Floridians with federal disaster recovery funding, prioritizing most-impacted communities and the most vulnerable low-income individuals, including the elderly, those with disabilities and families with young children. Funding provides impacted families with the opportunity to rebuild, repair or replace their damaged homes from disasters, as well as providing communities the ability to prepare for future storms.

For more information about Rebuild Florida in the Panhandle, including program timelines and next steps, visit RebuildFlorida.gov. To view the recently released Federal Register and the rules for the funding set forth by HUD, click HERE.

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