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corner of content windowHurricane News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 10, 2004
CONTACT: Jacob DiPietre (850) 488-5394

Governor Bush Announces Hurricane  Housing Work Group

~~Lt. Governor Jennings to chair group focused on best use of state and federal funds to help Floridians who have lost their homes~~

TALLAHASSEE - Governor Jeb Bush today signed an executive order creating the Hurricane Housing Work Group. The group, headed by Lt. Governor Toni Jennings, will make recommendations on the use of the one-time disaster funds to address housing needs resulting from this year's hurricane season. The group will also develop interim- and long-term strategies to mitigate the impact of the hurricanes on the people and communities of this state.

"Over the last 3 months, we focused on the most immediate and life threatening needs in the wake of the storms. We've also worked to provide temporary relief for those who have lost their homes," said Governor Bush. "Now hurricane season is coming to a close, we must look ahead to the next 18 months and make the most of the resources for longer-term housing in storm-damaged areas. That will be the focus of this working group. I thank all those who have pledged their time and energy to look at this important issue."

The Hurricane Housing Work Group's mission is to assess housing needs and make recommendations on the best use of one-time state and federal dollars to address these concerns. It will develop interim and long-term strategies to mitigate the impact of the hurricanes on the people and communities of this state. The Work Group will:

* Identify regulatory barriers that will hinder the rebuilding of suitable housing
* Ensure state and federal resources for hurricane recovery are targeted as effectively as possible; and
* Recommend any appropriate market-based strategies that would help communities better meet the housing needs of their residents.

"We need to make sure we're smart about spending the money available to us in these unique circumstances," said Lt. Governor Jennings. "This group has the opportunity to think outside the box and leverage funding to attract even more money for our housing and community development goals."

To date, federal funds for housing include $65 million in vouchers and grants from Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Another $150 million in HUD dollars will be available in community development grants for states impacted by the hurricanes. The Department of Agriculture allocated $5 million for farmworker housing and $8 million to repair and construct low-income farm housing for Florida and other states impacted by the storms. State money includes $4.5 million in Community Development Block Grants from the Department of Community Affairs to help communities repair housing after the hurricanes. Additionally, the Florida Housing Finance Corporation has pledged $42.5 million for short and longer-term assistance.

Members of the Hurricane Housing Work Group are: Commissioner of Agriculture Charles Bronson, Secretary of the Department of Community Affairs Thaddeus Cohen, Secretary of the Department of Elder Affairs Terry White, Executive Director of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation Orlando Cabrera, Dan Gilmore, President of the Florida Home Builders Association, Tom D'Aprile, Charlotte County Commissioner, Clay Ford, Mayor Pro Tem of Gulf Breeze and President of the Florida League of Cities, Richard Weber, Regional Director for Florida for Habitat for Humanity International, Mike Fields, Bank of America and immediate past President of the Florida Bankers Association, Pam Duncan, Fannie Mae, Gus Dominguez, a member of the Board of Directors of the Florida Housing Coalition and of the Affordable Housing Study Commission, Scott Culp, a member of the Board of Directors of the Coalition of Affordable Housing Providers and of the Affordable Housing Study Commission, Kent Spuhler, Executive Director of Florida Legal Services, Inc., Steven Kirk, Florida Farmworker Coalition, Frank Williams, Executive Director of the Florida Manufactured Housing Association, a member of the Florida Senate, appointed by the President designate of the Senate, and a member of the Florida House of Representatives, appointed by the Speaker designate of the House of Representatives.

For more information on available housing for hurricane victims or on the Governor's Hurricane Housing Workgroup please visit,
www.myflorida.com or www.DHRonline.com


Last updated: July 08, 2005

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