On Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that more than $44 million in Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding has been awarded to 11 Florida communities impacted by Hurricane Irma which hit the state back in 2017 for voluntary home buyouts.
The funds will be coming through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO) Rebuild Florida Voluntary Home Buyout Program.
“The recovery of Florida communities has been a priority since my first day in office,” said DeSantis on Tuesday. “This funding will help homeowners who suffered damage from Hurricane Irma recover while ensuring the communities they live in are more resilient to future disasters.”
“The Rebuild Florida Voluntary Home Buyout Program is designed to help reduce the impact of future disasters in high-risk flood areas. Grant funding is available for local governments to purchase homes damaged by Hurricane Irma from willing homeowners in high-risk flood areas or fulfill local match requirements for the Federal Emergency Management Agency Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). Local governments can apply for HMGP grants to make infrastructure or property improvements that reduce risk of harm from future disasters,” the governor’s office noted.
“Governor DeSantis is focused on full recovery and increased resiliency in all communities impacted by Hurricane Irma,” said Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Executive Director Ken Lawson. “Through the Rebuild Florida Voluntary Home Buyout Program, these homeowners and communities are better prepared for future storms.”
“Rebuild Florida funds will be essential to protecting communities from future storms and disasters,” said Florida’s Chief Resilience Officer Dr. Julia Nesheiwat. “I commend the Governor for his focus on resiliency and look forward to these funds making a significant impact.”
“Hurricane Irma devasted Florida, and we have not forgotten those that were affected,” said state Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Orange Park, the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “This funding will go a long way towards restoring and reviving the communities that received the most damage. I want to thank Governor DeSantis and our federal partners for prioritizing hurricane recovery in our state.”
“Governor DeSantis recognizes the importance of these grant awards to communities that are still rebuilding from Hurricane Irma,” said state Rep. Travis Cummings, R-Fleming Island, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. “When natural disasters strike, we will continue to be there to make sure that the necessary resources are available for our state to fully recover.”
“Hurricane Irma devastated homes, businesses and communities through the Florida Keys,” said state Rep. Holly Raschein, R-Key Largo. “The Rebuild Florida Voluntary Home Buyout program is going to allow families to rebuild their lives and start over, while allowing communities to prepare for the future. I appreciate Governor DeSantis’ leadership and commitment to a resilient Florida.”
The following Florida communities and organizations received funds:
City of Bonita Springs
City of Jacksonville
City of Marathon
City of Palm Bay
Clay County Department of Emergency Management
Islamorada, Village of the Islands
Town of Orange Park