Over the weekend, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that Florida Housing Finance Corporation (Florida Housing) is awarding $5 million to local housing partners to help Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian pay their home insurance deductibles in the six hardest hit counties.
Funding assistance is available to individuals, families, and seniors living in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee and Sarasota Counties who apply and qualify through Florida Housing’s local housing partners.
As the state’s housing finance agency, Florida Housing annually receives funding from the Legislature for the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) program, of which $5 million is set aside to be used in the event of a natural disaster. This year, the disaster funds have been allocated to assist Floridians who are low to moderate income, live in one of the six counties hardest hit by Hurricane Ian and cannot afford to pay their insurance deductibles.
Homeowners are encouraged to contact their local SHIP office directly for more information.
“Following the impacts of Hurricane Ian, it was really important to us to make sure people were able to get back into their homes and rebuild as quickly as possible – today’s announcement will help do just that,” said DeSantis. “We know a lot of homeowners had coverage for the storm, however insurance deductibles are expensive and often a gap not covered by other support. These funds will immediately help families and seniors with limited means get closer to recovery.”
“We know there are many hardworking families and senior citizens on a fixed income that live in the areas impacted by Hurricane Ian,” said Trey Price, the executive director of Florida Housing Finance Corporation. “Hurricane deductibles are larger than typical deductibles for home damages, and many people impacted aren’t prepared to put up tens of thousands of dollars to begin the work of rebuilding their homes. By providing the necessary financial assistance to help these families pay their insurance deductibles we hope this will ease some of the burden that comes after a major storm and allow the focus to remain on recovery. We’re grateful for the leadership from Governor DeSantis and the state Legislature as we all work together to continue providing Southwest Florida with the support needed to help their communities rebuild.”
“Just a little more than a week ago, Governor DeSantis and I sat with business owners in Lee County, and we consistently heard the very real, urgent challenges that residents need help with to recover. Insurance deductibles were definitely one of the consistent points raised,” said Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Secretary Dane Eagle. “Today, with the governor’s leadership, we’re again turning the feedback of Southwest Florida residents into action, and we look forward to meeting with Florida Housing’s local partners to spread the word and further identify ways to support housing needs.”
Florida Housing is also working to compile information on disaster relief resources. The following are possible resources for families affected by Hurricane Ian:
Individuals that have been displaced from their homes are encouraged to visit www.FloridaHousingSearch.org. This free, statewide search platform is constantly being updated to ensure all listings are accurate and can help quickly locate an affordable rental property. If you do not have Internet access, you may also call the following toll-free number for assistance in conducting a search: 1-877-428-8844.
If your home sustained damage as a result of the storm, your local State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) program office may have recovery assistance available to help with temporary relocation, rental assistance, debris removal and/or home repairs. Please contact your local SHIP office directly for more information: Local Government Information (floridahousing.org)
Florida residents can apply for federal assistance to help with disaster-related expenses, including temporary lodging. For more information please visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov, call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or use the FEMA App.
Residents who used Florida Housing’s Homeownership Loan Program (HLP) may be eligible for Disaster Relief Assistance through US Bank.
Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and Federal Housing Administration loans (FHA) back the majority of U.S. mortgages – and each has some kind of program to help homeowners struggling to pay their monthly mortgage payment after a disaster. Disaster relief options are offered to homeowners in declared major disaster areas. However, even homeowners outside those areas may have options if their home incurred a disaster-related loss that impacts their ability to make a mortgage payment. Foreclosure and other legal proceedings are also suspended while homeowners are on a forbearance plan.
Operation Blue Roof: Operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Operation Blue Roof provides homeowners and permanently occupied rental properties in disaster areas with fiber-reinforced sheeting to cover their damaged roofs until arrangements can be made for permanent repairs.
If you own a private business that has been impacted, please visit www.FloridaDisaster.biz/.
For more information about Florida Housing Finance Corporation and disaster relief resources, please visit Disaster Relief Resources and Information (floridahousing.org).
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