Residents from Holiday Estates in Englewood facing challenges as they rebuild from Hurricane Ian

Residents in Holiday Estates face challenges as they rebuild.
Residents in Holiday Estates face challenges as they rebuild.(WWSB)
Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 10:04 PM EST
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ENGLEWOOD, Fla. (WWSB) - Robert Diconza and many residents of the Holiday Estates mobile home park in Englewood still trying rebuild, nearly 5 months after Hurricane Ian devastated their community.

“A lot of my stuff was destroyed, so I’m trying to put everything back together,” said Diconza.

Diconza had to have his home torn down. He’s currently living out of an 18-foot camper on his property that he purchased. He says he’s been waiting four months to get the proper permission from the Charlotte County to have his new modular home placed on his property.

“I just wish there were one set of rules and they would come in and say this is what you need,” said Diconza. “And I also believe that permitting with replacing and repairing the fees should be waived.”

Some homes can’t be repaired because the damage is too extensive. Others who are rebuilding are running into challenges from the county. One local contractor, who wants to remain anonymous, says it’s been very difficult to get anything done.

“We go down to apply for what we thought would be simple permits and next thing we know, for a simple few thousand dollar job now ,they want to get architects and engineers, new data retrieved,” said the contractor.

The contractor says there’s a rule on the books that states no permits are needed for certain repairs, and that many people are even running into issues with that.

“It’s basically financially strapping people from rebuilding, simple things that they can rebuild and get on with their lives,” said the contractor.

Charlotte County says each home is done on a case by case basis. They say they are closely working with residents to rebuild as quickly as possible. The county held a Q & A with residents recently. They are planning on another Q & A in the coming days.