Orange County plan for Hurricane Ian recovery grant includes $109 million toward housing
The Orange County Commission on Tuesday approved an action plan for $219.7 million in federal disaster recovery funds following Hurricane Ian.
Under the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery program, 70% of funds must benefit low- to moderate-income areas or individuals, said Mitchell Glasser, manager of the county Housing and Community Development Division.
And the money must be spent within six years.
"It's a flexible set of funds to carry out a wide range of activities related to disaster relief, long-erm recovery, restoration of infrastructure and housing, economic revitalization and mitigation of risk," Glasser said.
Under the plan, $109 million -- or about half of the Housing and Urban Development grant -- will go toward housing. That includes $60 million for new affordable housing, $13 million for rental housing rehabilitation, and $35 million for homeowner rehab and reconstruction.
Orange County cited Federal Emergency Management Agency and flood insurance data to show that local housing had losses of $243 million from Ian with damage to 10,591 units.
County staff will develop the application process and criteria for homeowner assistance.
The plan also has $59 million for infrastructure -- including stormwater management projects -- and more than $28 million for improvements aimed a reducing the impacts of future storms.
The action plan also sets aside $7 million for public services like financial literacy and legal assistance, health and mental health care, and job training.
The county's action plan includes an assessment, which found $427 million in unmet needs remaining since Ian made landfall in late September 2022. Staff also sought public input using focus groups, 13 neighborhood meetings and an online survey.