MARATHON, Fla. — Today, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) launched Rebuild Florida, a long-term recovery effort, which will provide $616 million to help Florida families whose homes were significantly damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Irma repair or rebuild their homes. Rebuild Florida is a program run by DEO in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This program was announced jointly by Governor Rick Scott and HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson in June and will connect 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.
Governor Scott said, “Hurricane Irma devastated communities across Florida after its landfall in the Keys, and we have worked every day since the storm to bring resources to our state so families could fully recover. I’m proud that through Rebuild Florida, DEO will provide critical funding to help families most impacted by Hurricane Irma.”
The first Rebuild Florida center opens today in the Florida Keys, with case managers available to help homeowners register for the program. The center, located at 2796 Overseas Highway in Marathon, will be open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Additional, temporary and mobile centers will be opened in affected counties throughout the registration period.
DEO Executive Director Cissy Proctor said, “We know that many families across the state are still struggling, even one year after Hurricane Irma. For those whose homes were destroyed or are still damaged, please go online to RebuildFlorida.gov or visit a Rebuild Florida center opening near you to register for assistance. Our Rebuild Florida team will guide homeowners through every step of the process and help them repair and rebuild their homes.”
Representative Holly Raschein said, “A year after Hurricane Irma, many of our friends and neighbors are still recovering and the Rebuild Florida plan is an important component of the state’s efforts to help our community to recover and rebuild. We’re excited to have these resources available for our residents as we continue our long-term recovery and work to make sure the Florida Keys come back better and stronger than ever.”
Registration begins today at RebuildFlorida.gov or by calling the Rebuild Florida representatives at 844-833-1010. Rebuild Florida centers will also be opening in the hardest hit counties. More information about these locations will be available at RebuildFlorida.gov. Eligible Florida residents have until Dec. 23 to register for the Rebuild Florida Housing Repair and Replacement Program.
The program is open to residents who own their homes and also to owners of rental properties. Detailed eligibility requirements are available at RebuildFlorida.gov.
The long-term recovery program has just become available to eligible Floridians, following a lengthy federal process designed to ensure that all other assistance, including private insurance and other forms of federal assistance, has been exhausted. After the federal government approved guidelines for action plans early this year, HUD approved Florida’s Action Plan for Disaster Recovery, allowing DEO to begin implementing the Rebuild Florida program.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity combines the state’s economic, workforce and community development efforts. This new approach helps expedite economic development projects to fuel job creation in competitive communities. For more information, including valuable resources for employers and job seekers, please visit www.floridajobs.org.