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Orange County plan for Hurricane Ian recovery grant includes $109 million toward housing

Mitchell Glasser, a division manager with the county, said plan includes an assessment of unmet needs and public input. "This is the first time that Orange County is receiving these funds," he added. "So there is a learning curve, and we want to do it correctly. So we took diligence in putting together what we think is right for us."
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Orange County via YouTube
Mitchell Glasser, a division manager with the county, said plan includes an assessment of unmet needs and public input. "This is the first time that Orange County is receiving these funds," he added. "So there is a learning curve, and we want to do it correctly. So we took diligence in putting together what we think is right for us."

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.

Chart showing unmet needs and proposed funding allocations for HUD grant.
Orange County

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.

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.
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