PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — Florida families still rebuilding after Hurricane Ian can look forward to another boost of support from the state.
Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference Monday morning in Punta Gorda to announce that up to $60 million of state funds will go toward different home repair programs.
The money is intended to help impacted Floridians who may not be eligible for FEMA's Direct Temporary Housing Assistance program, according to the governor.
"Not only do we think that would be filling a need, we also think we can do it quicker and more efficiently than FEMA," DeSantis said.
He explained that up to $25 million of the funds will be used to purchase building materials which will be provided to verified non-profit organizations to restore damaged homes to liveable conditions. This includes materials like sheetrock, studs, doors and drywall.
The other $35.2 million will support the state's home repair program which operates through the Florida Disaster Fund, DeSantis added.
First Lady Casey DeSantis, who has led the effort to raise money for the state's private fund, joined the governor to thank those throughout Florida and across the country who donated.
"This is really where government meets the private sector, their generosity and the goodwill of the people from across the state and the country and then also the non-profits and how we can maximize resources," she said. "It’s not a government go at it alone, but it’s really everybody uniting for the benefit of everybody here who were affected by the hurricane."
FEMA has been working to provide relief and recovery in Florida since Hurricane Ian swept through in September. Through its Direct Temporary Housing Assistance Program, the agency provides temporary housing units such as travel trailers or manufactured homes to those in need.
This month, FEMA volunteers have been going door-to-door to connect with Hurricane Ian survivors, answer their questions and connect them with available resources.