Florida Commerce submits action plan to secure $910 million for Hurricane Ian recovery

by | Sep 13, 2023



  • Florida Commerce has submitted a State Action Plan for Disaster Recovery to HUD, requesting over $910 million in funding for ongoing Hurricane Ian recovery efforts, with a focus on housing rehabilitation and hazard mitigation infrastructure grants.
  • The plan prioritizes vulnerable populations, including seniors, and includes data-driven assessments and stakeholder consultations to address the most urgent needs in affected communities.
  • After HUD approval, the state will establish grant agreements for 20 counties, while four counties with direct federal allocations will submit their own action plans.
  • The majority of the funds will go toward housing programs, with special priority for households with children, seniors, and special needs, and nine percent will be allocated to the Hazard Mitigation Grant Match Program for infrastructure enhancements.

    Florida Commerce announced on Wednesday its submission of Florida’s State Action Plan for Disaster Recovery to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), seeking more than $910 million in funding for ongoing Hurricane Ian recovery efforts.

    The submitted plan largely prioritizes housing rehabilitation through the allocation of funds for hazard mitigation infrastructure grants to support affected communities. To compose the document, Florida Commerce conducted research and engaged in outreach, including 40 public meetings, to assess unmet needs following Hurricane Ian.

    The plan focuses on assisting vulnerable populations, particularly seniors, and includes data-driven needs assessments and stakeholder consultations. While the plan acknowledges that the allocated funding may not fully cover all recovery needs, it establishes a plan to address the most urgent needs of afflicted communities.

    “FloridaCommerce has worked very closely with the impacted communities to ensure our plan is a true reflection of their unmet needs following Hurricane Ian,” said Florida Secretary of Commerce J. Alex Kelly. “While we know from our extensive research and outreach, including 40 public meetings, that HUD’s funding award for Florida is not enough to meet all needs, we are committed to maximizing every available dollar to help these communities recover and become more resilient to future storms.”

    Following HUD approval, the state will establish grant agreements for the 20 counties under its jurisdiction. Four counties—Lee, Orange, Sarasota, and Volusia—have received direct federal allocations and will submit their action plans separately. Lee County, in particular, will receive over $1.1 billion for recovery and mitigation efforts.

    To address housing needs in Hurricane Ian-affected communities, the plan allocates more than 83 percent of available funds to three housing programs, including housing repair, reconstruction, and affordable workforce housing construction programs.  Per agency documents, special priority will be granted to households with children, seniors, and special needs.

    “In the aftermath of natural disasters that severely and profoundly impact our state, it is vital we protect our most vulnerable Floridians and provide resources and support they need to get back on their feet. The Department of Elder Affairs is extremely grateful to see that Florida’s Department of Commerce has already taken great steps to prioritize our elders with the “Hurricane Ian State Action Plan”, said Florida Department of Elder Affairs Secretary Michelle Branham.

    The plan also designates nine percent of Florida’s allocation to the Hazard Mitigation Grant Match Program (HMGMP) to address infrastructure needs and enhance community resilience. This program will provide local matching funds for large-scale projects administered by the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM).

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