provided to The Santiva Chronicle
More than 379,000 households are receiving help from FEMA as they recover from Hurricane Ian. The assistance comes in many forms.
More than 49,000 households have received rental funds from FEMA because they can’t move back into their homes. FEMA, the state of Florida and voluntary organizations are working with these families to help them with housing resources. Households may be eligible for continued rental funds, which serve as a bridge to longer-term housing.
More than 3,000 Florida households displaced by Hurricane Ian have moved out of hotel rooms provided by FEMA after finding longer-term housing. Nearly 1,000 continue to receive this help.
In Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee, Sarasota and Volusia counties, 286 families are occupying leased apartments, travel trailers or manufactured housing units provided by FEMA. This week, families are moving into 105 travel trailers at a commercial park in Lee County leased by FEMA. As soon as the site was ready, FEMA began giving keys to applicants and by early this week 23 were in their temporary new homes, with more moving in every day.
This assistance is part of an extensive effort by FEMA to assist survivors of Hurricane Ian. Assistance includes funds for rent, home repairs, hotel stays, apartment leases, travel trailers and manufactured housing units, as well as funds for other disaster-related needs.
In Lee, Sarasota and Volusia counties, FEMA has leased 312 apartment homes and is placing families in them. FEMA also is planning to repair and lease more apartments and provide temporary homes for disaster survivors.
Households receiving rental assistance and home repair total 69,000, and these forms of help are the most immediate that FEMA can provide for housing. More than 363,000 households have received funds for other disaster-related needs, including transportation, medical and dental, childcare, essential personal property and other expenses.
“We are working non-stop to help the families that need travel trailers or manufactured housing units,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Tom McCool. “The permitting, ordering, placement, utility hookup and inspection takes more time than rental assistance or home repair funds. We are working with permitting offices, utility companies and local staff in seven counties to make this go as quickly as possible. We have learned how limited the suitable locations are for temporary housing units and we’re working on as many sites as are feasible. We know how critical this is for the families and for the local communities. We’re going to stay on it until the mission is complete.”