Florida Governor Ron DeSantis awarded $187 million Wednesday to communities impacted by Hurricane Sally through the Florida Department of Commerce’s (FloridaCommerce) Rebuild Florida program.
Rebuild Florida provides funding for local governments to strategically rebuild homes and harden infrastructure to prevent or mitigate losses from future disasters through multiple avenues.
“My administration has prioritized supporting businesses and communities impacted by hurricanes while they get back on their feet,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Today, I am happy to announce $187 million in awards to aid in recovery efforts following Hurricane Sally – an important step in helping Northwest Florida recover.”
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“Thanks to the outstanding leadership of Governor DeSantis, today’s $187 million in awards will help Northwest Florida rebuild and become more resilient following Hurricane Sally,” said FloridaCommerce Secretary J. Alex Kelly. “From repairing and replacing homes to championing workforce development and supporting infrastructure projects, these disaster recovery funds will ensure Hurricane Sally-impacted communities have the resources they need to be made whole again.”
The Rebuild Florida Infrastructure Repair Program
The Rebuild Florida Infrastructure Repair Program provides funding for local governments to strategically rebuild and harden infrastructure in order to prevent or mitigate losses from future disasters. Communities will receive awards through the Rebuild Florida Infrastructure Repair Program for Hurricane Sally for the following projects:
- City of Pensacola ($39,686,539.86) – to facilitate a stormwater infrastructure project at Hollice T. Williams Park to improve water quality and reduce stormwater in the area, to repair infrastructure at the Port of Pensacola, and to repair and improve infrastructure at the Fricker Center.
- Escambia County Board of County Commissioners ($52,946,768) – to build a new state-of-the-art, energy-efficient and resilient Escambia County Area Transit Center and to make regional stormwater drainage improvements in low- and moderate-income neighborhood
- Town of Century ($12,877,137) – to demolish the old Century High School Gym building located at 440 East Hecker Road and build a shelter that can also be used as a multi-purpose facility and to make drainage and road improvements at Jefferson Avenue, Freedom Road Bridge and Alger Road Bridge, which were damaged during Hurricane Sally.
- Town of Jay ($5,479,939) – to build a Community Disaster Response Facility and various infrastructure to support disaster response and recovery following a storm event.
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The Rebuild Florida Voluntary Home Buyout Program
The Rebuild Florida Voluntary Home Buyout Program reduces the risk of future property loss and recurrent flooding by funding the purchase and re-purposing of residential properties in high flood-risk areas. Communities will receive awards through the Rebuild Florida Voluntary Home Buyout Program for Hurricane Sally for the following projects:
- City of Panama City ($5,000,000)
- Escambia County ($3,170,114)
The Rebuild Florida Workforce Recovery Training Program
Pensacola State College will receive nearly $2.5 million to bolster construction trades in Hurricane Sally-impacted communities. The Rebuild Florida Workforce Recovery Training Program for Hurricane Sally was launched to provide funding for local workforce development boards, educational institutions and technical centers located in the communities most impacted by Hurricane Sally.
Award funds will be used to launch or expand a training program tailored to the specific economic revitalization needs of the community, which may include construction trades like roofing, masonry, carpentry, concrete finishing, plumbing, HVAC, electricity, heavy equipment operations, carpet laying, window installation, plastering, welding and more.
The Rebuild Florida Hometown Revitalization Program
The Rebuild Florida Hometown Revitalization Program is designed to support the recovery of economic activity in commercial areas of communities impacted by Hurricane Sally, facilitating the return and recovery of businesses, jobs, and provision of goods and services to the area. Communities will receive awards through the Rebuild Florida Hometown Revitalization Program for Hurricane Sally for the following projects:
- City of Panama City ($992,308) – to facilitate Project ACCESS, a boardwalk on Bayview Ave in the St. Andrews community, which aims to draw new businesses, foster economic growth for existing enterprises, encourage a healthy lifestyle for the low- to moderate-income households, and create enduring positive environmental effects.
- City of Pensacola ($10,000,000) – to acquire, prepare and rehabilitate a targeted property at West Cervantes and North Pace Boulevard and complete a project at Baptist Hospital.
- Escambia County ($5,000,000) – to improve streetscapes and add solar-powered lighting throughout low- to moderate-income areas by installing 80 new Escambia County Area Transit bus shelters and updating 32 Escambia County Area Transit Bus Shelters.
The Rebuild Florida Workforce Affordable Housing Construction Program
The Florida Housing Finance Corporation was awarded $25 million for the construction of new workforce affordable housing to help address housing shortages worsened by Hurricane Sally. Through this agreement, the Rebuild Florida Workforce Affordable Housing Program will fund the creation of quality, resilient and affordable housing units. Florida Housing will launch a competitive application cycle, allowing housing developers and public housing authorities with experience in the development and management of rental properties to apply for funding. Local governments may partner with these entities to apply for funds.
The Rebuild Florida Housing Repair and Replacement Program (HRRP)
The Rebuild Florida HRRP for Hurricane Sally is designed to provide funding for local governments to rebuild, replace or repair homes that were damaged by Hurricane Sally, helping impacted Floridians return to decent, safe and sanitary homes. Communities will receive awards through the Rebuild Florida Housing Repair and Replacement Program for Hurricane Sally for the following projects:
- City of Pensacola ($5,861,500)
- Escambia County ($9,000,000)
The funds are allocated to the state through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program. FloridaCommerce is the governor-designated state authority responsible for administering all HUD long-term recovery funds awarded to the state. Rebuild Florida is a partnership between FloridaCommerce and HUD. Launched in September 2018, Rebuild Florida uses federal funding for Florida’s long-term recovery efforts from the devastating impacts of natural disasters.
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