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Help Offered To Floridians Still Waiting On Irma Repairs

Hurricane Irma in 2017. Image Credit: NOAA/CIRA

Homeowners still waiting on repairs more than a year after Irma are being offered help through a state run program called Rebuild Florida.

Rebuild Florida centers opened in Polk and Orange Counties today.

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity executive director Cissy Proctor said the program kicks in after private insurance and other Federal assistance is exhausted, like FEMA assistance or US Small Business Administration disaster loan assistance. It will use federal dollars to pay for contractors to do the rebuilding or repair work for eligible homeowners.

“The focus really is on the hardest hit communities, where we’re still seeing homes with blue tarps, families still have flooding damage or there’s folks who are still out of their homes because of the extent of the damage,” said Proctor.

“It really is those unmet needs for the most vulnerable populations,” she said.

“So this is low income families, seniors, families with young children, those with disabilities. We know there are a lot of vulnerable families out there that still need help.”

Orange, Polk, Volusia and Brevard Counties were among the hardest hit by Irma.

Homeowners can register for the program until December 23rd by calling 844.833.1010, through the DEO website, at a Rebuild Florida center or at buses that will make stops throughout the state.

The program is funded with $616 million through the US department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery program.

Hurricane Irma was one of the costliest storms to hit the US, causing $50 billion in damage.

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About Matthew Peddie

Matt Peddie