|HUD No. 06-089
July 26, 2006
JACKSON APPROVES FLORIDA'S $82.9 MILLION RECOVERY PLAN TO HELP STATE TO RECOVER FROM HURRICANE WILMA
WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson today announced he is approving an $82.9 million plan to support the State of Florida's long-term recovery efforts following Hurricane Wilma. The funding is provided through HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and will focus on helping counties and Indian tribes throughout southern Florida to restore their affordable housing stock.
The funding is part of $11.5 billion in CDBG assistance Jackson allocated to Florida and four other Gulf Coast states in January to support the region's long-term recovery. w
Florida plan focuses on restoring affordable housing
"Last year's hurricanes forced us all to recognize that the long road back must be open to everyone," said Jackson. "Florida's plan pays particular attention to the needs of lower income families who are trying to afford a home they can call their own. HUD will continue to work with Florida, and other states throughout the Gulf Region, to make sure everyone who wants to come home, can come home."
Assistant Secretary Pamela Patenaude discusses HUD's approval of Florida's disaster plan with Lt. Governor Toni Jennings
Governor Jeb Bush said, "I thank President Bush, Secretary Jackson and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for continuing to support Florida's recovery efforts following a record eight hurricanes in 15 months. These funds will assist our local governments rebuild impacted communities and ensure Florida's healthy economy continues to grow."
"In partnership with HUD and local governments, we will continue to move recovery funds quickly into the hands of Florida's hardest-hit communities," said Lt. Governor Toni Jennings. "Disaster recovery is a challenging process, and we are committed to working with local leaders to ensure our communities are rebuilt stronger and more resistant to future damage."
Florida's 2005 Disaster Recovery Initiative Action Plan primarily seeks to restore affordable housing that was damaged or destroyed in the wake of Hurricane Wilma. Local county governments and Indian tribes that receive grants through this program are required to devote at least 70 percent of their funding toward restoring affordable housing. Local governments are encouraged to give special consideration to the unmet housing needs of the elderly, persons with disabilities, farm workers, the homeless and families living in poverty.
Eligible housing projects may include rehabilitation, relocation, demolition and replacement, and new construction of affordable housing. CDBG funding provided through this program may also support farm worker housing, transitional housing for homeless individuals and families, and the restoration of water and sewer services to residential areas.
In addition, local communities may dedicate a portion of their funding to restoring and improving certain infrastructure needs like repairing streets, improving water and wastewater systems, upgrading drainage systems, and repairing damaged public buildings. Business assistance may include repairing or improving certain infrastructure that would attract or retain area businesses considered vital to support that community's jobs base.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and, supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development, and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov. For more information about FHA products, please visit www.fha.gov.
NOTE: To view the State of Florida's 2005 Disaster Recovery Initiative Action Plan, visit HUD's website.