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State of Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

12/03/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/03/2019 09:53

Governor Ron DeSantis Announces $44 Million in Awards for Voluntary Home Buyouts in Irma-Impacted Communities

Tallahassee, Fla. - Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that more than $44 million in Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding has been awarded to 11 Florida communities impacted by Hurricane Irma through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity's (DEO) Rebuild Florida Voluntary Home Buyout Program.

'The recovery of Florida communities has been a priority since my first day in office,' said Governor DeSantis. 'This funding will help homeowners who suffered damage from Hurricane Irma recover while ensuring the communities they live in are more resilient to future disasters.'

The Rebuild Florida Voluntary Home Buyout Program is designed to help reduce the impact of future disasters in high-risk flood areas. Grant funding is available for local governments to purchase homes damaged by Hurricane Irma from willing homeowners in high-risk flood areas or fulfill local match requirements for the Federal Emergency Management Agency Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). Local governments can apply for HMGP grants to make infrastructure or property improvements that reduce risk of harm from future disasters.

'Governor DeSantis is focused on full recovery and increased resiliency in all communities impacted by Hurricane Irma,' said Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Ken Lawson. 'Through the Rebuild Florida Voluntary Home Buyout Program, these homeowners and communities are better prepared for future storms.'

'Rebuild Florida funds will be essential to protecting communities from future storms and disasters,' said Florida's Chief Resilience Officer Dr. Julia Nesheiwat. 'I commend the Governor for his focus on resiliency and look forward to these funds making a significant impact.'

'Hurricane Irma devasted Florida, and we have not forgotten those that were affected,' said Senator Rob Bradley. 'This funding will go a long way towards restoring and reviving the communities that received the most damage. I want to thank Governor DeSantis and our federal partners for prioritizing hurricane recovery in our state.'

'Governor DeSantis recognizes the importance of these grant awards to communities that are still rebuilding from Hurricane Irma,' said Representative Travis Cummings. 'When natural disasters strike, we will continue to be there to make sure that the necessary resources are available for our state to fully recover.'

'Hurricane Irma devastated homes, businesses and communities through the Florida Keys,' said Representative Holly Raschein. 'The Rebuild Florida Voluntary Home Buyout program is going to allow families to rebuild their lives and start over, while allowing communities to prepare for the future. I appreciate Governor DeSantis' leadership and commitment to a resilient Florida.'

Florida communities who received awards include:

  • City of Bonita Springs
  • City of Jacksonville
  • City of Marathon
  • City of Palm Bay
  • Clay County Department of Emergency Management
  • Columbia County
  • Flagler County
  • Islamorada, Village of the Islands
  • Miami-Dade County
  • Monroe County
  • Town of Orange Park

Click here to view a full breakdown of community awards.

Rebuild Florida is a partnership of DEO and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Launched in September 2018, Rebuild Florida uses federal funding for Florida's long-term recovery efforts from the devastating impacts of Hurricane Irma. For more information, visit RebuildFlorida.gov.