The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced on Monday that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has approved the state of Florida’s Action Plan for more than $735 million in funding for long-term recovery efforts for Hurricane Michael-impacted communities. Hurricane Michael hit the state in October 2018. The funds are allocated through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program.
In Florida, CDBG-DR funds are administered through the Rebuild Florida program. Rebuild Florida connects eligible Floridians with federal disaster recovery funding, prioritizing the most-impacted communities and the most vulnerable low-to-moderate 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 homes damaged by disasters, as well as providing communities the ability to prepare for future storms.
DEO is working closely with HUD to secure the federal grant agreement necessary to access the federal funding for the following Rebuild Florida programs:
Rebuild Florida General Infrastructure Repair Program – Designed to fund infrastructure restoration and improvement projects in communities impacted by Hurricane Michael. Infrastructure activities include funds allocated for the reconstruction of the Liberty-Calhoun Hospital, a designated Critical Access Hospital (CAH), which sustained significant damage from Hurricane Michael. Additionally, DEO will leverage CDBG-DR funds to provide local match funding to local communities for the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s (FDEM) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) to fortify infrastructure projects with resiliency measures.
Economic Revitalization Programs
Rebuild Florida Hometown Revitalization Program – Designed to support the recovery of economic activity in commercial areas of impacted towns and cities, facilitating the return and recovery of businesses, jobs and provision of goods and services to the community.
Rebuild Florida Workforce Recovery Training Program – Designed to provide funding opportunities for local workforce development boards, educational institutions and technical centers located in the communities most impacted by Hurricane Michael to train new workers in construction trades.
Rebuild Florida Housing Repair and Replacement Program – Designed to repair, replace or reconstruct homes damaged by Hurricane Michael. Homeowners, rental property owners and Pubic Housing Authorities (PHA) may apply for the repair, replacement or reconstruction of single-family or multi-family homes and Manufactured/Mobile Housing Units (MHU).
Rebuild Florida Voluntary Home Buyout Program – Designed to encourage risk reduction through the purchase of residential property in high flood-risk areas to help reduce the impact of future disasters. Local governments that are within the federal and state designated Most Impacted and Distressed (MID) areas are eligible to apply for funding.
In addition to launch of these Rebuild Florida programs, DEO will provide Technical Assistance to fiscally constrained counties that were impacted by Hurricane Michael. This includes assisting local governments develop applications for Rebuild Florida programs, create mitigation and resiliency plans for future storms and project development.