New housing program will help those displaced by hurricane
FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. (WWSB) - People in the worst hurricane-ravaged areas of Fort Myers will be able to take advantage of a new FEMA housing program, it was announced Wednesday.
The FEMA Direct Temporary Housing program has been approved for individuals whose homes are uninhabitable in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, and Lee counties. This program provides for 18 months of assistance for manufactured housing units, nonmotorized recreational vehicles, and other ready to occupy housing for affected individuals.
Florida has also developed a state-led housing mission to provide trailers and recreational vehicles to affected Floridians who may not be eligible for FEMA’s Direct Temporary Housing Program, the governor’s office said.
Florida’s housing mission will allow families to live on their own properties while repairs are made to their homes.
At a news conference in Fort Myers Beach, Gov. Ron DeSantis also announced efforts to identify and remove vessels and other debris from waterways and to expedite the removal of debris on private and commercial properties, including the use of various technology platforms and satellite imagery to allow FEMA to more quickly determine program eligibility.
“I am also happy to announce temporary housing that will give displaced individuals the time they need to take a breath and evaluate their next steps without worrying about where they will sleep at night,” DeSantis said.
The State of Florida and FEMA reached an agreement to allow for the waiver of some requirement for debris removal on private and commercial properties, including damaged slabs on private property. Additionally, the state will be engaging the use of satellite imagery and other technology platforms to expedite damage assessments, a process that FEMA typically does by going door to door to physically inspect structures.
The Division of Emergency Management has worked closely with the Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Coast Guard, and local governments to identify and remove vessels and other debris from waterways and upland private and commercial properties.
The newly created State Debris Cleanup Program will assist Hurricane Ian survivors with the removal of displaced and abandoned titled property. Residents can request the removal of debris including vehicles, vessels, motorcycles, trailers, and ATVs. To make a request, visit IanDebrisCleanup.com to report the presence of debris.
To date, 869 vehicles and vessels have been identified on private and commercial properties, with efforts to identify more continuing daily.
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