ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — More help is on the way as people across southwest Florida continue to recover from the impacts left behind by Hurricane Ian.
Florida Housing Finance Corporation will be awarding $5 million to local housing companies in six counties that were heavily impacted by the storm to help people pay their home insurance deductibles, Gov. Ron DeSantis' office said in a news release on Saturday.
Families, seniors and individuals living in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee and Sarasota counties can apply and see if they qualify through Florida Housing's local partners to receive funding assistance. Homeowners are asked to contact their local SHIP office for more information.
“Following the impacts of Hurricane Ian, it was really important to us to make sure people were able to get back into their homes and rebuild as quickly as possible,” DeSantis said in a statement. “We know a lot of homeowners had coverage for the storm, however insurance deductibles are expensive and often a gap not covered by other support. These funds will immediately help families and seniors with limited means get closer to recovery.”
The State Housing Initiatives Partnership program put aside $5 million from the legislature to be in case of a natural disaster the news release mentioned.
“We know there are many hardworking families and senior citizens on a fixed income that live in the areas impacted by Hurricane Ian,” Trey Price, executive director of Florida Housing Finance Corporation, said in a statement. “Hurricane deductibles are larger than typical deductibles for home damages, and many people impacted aren’t prepared to put up tens of thousands of dollars to begin the work of rebuilding their homes.
"By providing the necessary financial assistance to help these families pay their insurance deductibles we hope this will ease some of the burden that comes after a major storm and allow the focus to remain on recovery."
The governor's office included in the news release a list of other resources provided by Florida Housing to help those impacted by the hurricane. You can view them below:
- Individuals that have been displaced from their homes are encouraged to visit www.FloridaHousingSearch.org. This free, statewide search platform is constantly being updated to ensure all listings are accurate and can help quickly locate an affordable rental property. If you do not have Internet access, you may also call the following toll-free number for assistance in conducting a search: 1-877-428-8844.
- If your home sustained damage as a result of the storm, your local State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) program office may have recovery assistance available to help with temporary relocation, rental assistance, debris removal and/or home repairs. Please contact your local SHIP office directly for more information: Local Government Information (floridahousing.org)
- Florida residents can apply for federal assistance to help with disaster-related expenses, including temporary lodging. For more information please visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov, call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or use the FEMA App.
- Operation Blue Roof: Operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Operation Blue Roof provides homeowners and permanently occupied rental properties in disaster areas with fiber-reinforced sheeting to cover their damaged roofs until permanent repairs can be made.
- If you own a private business that has been impacted, please visit www.FloridaDisaster.biz/.
To learn more about other disaster relief resources, click here.