Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Assistance for Debris Removal and Temporary Housing for Floridians Impacted by Hurricane Ian
Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced efforts to identify and remove vessels and other debris from waterways and to expedite the removal of debris on private and commercial properties, including the use of various technology platforms and satellite imagery to allow FEMA to more quickly determine program eligibility. Governor DeSantis also announced the approval of the FEMA Direct Temporary Housing Program for the counties hit hardest by Hurricane Ian. Additionally, the Governor announced a state-led housing program for Floridians that may not be eligible for FEMA Direct Temporary Housing.
“By addressing private and commercial debris removal far sooner than in prior disasters, we are building the foundation for a swift recovery,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I am also happy to announce temporary housing that will give displaced individuals the time they need to take a breath and evaluate their next steps without worrying about where they will sleep at night.”
“Together with FEMA, under the Governor’s leadership, we are expediting debris removal and launching a direct housing program that will help more people who want to stay on their property while rebuilding,” said Senate President Designate Kathleen Passidomo. “These announcements represent tremendous progress in our efforts to rebuild Southwest Florida. I am proud of Governor DeSantis for working with FEMA to cut the red tape and move forward with debris removal from private and commercial property as well as critical direct housing assistance quicker than we ever thought possible.”
“Our continued coordination between local, state, and federal partners has led to a record-breaking speed in the state’s response to Hurricane Ian,” said Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie. “Under the leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis, my team has been empowered to work on innovative solutions to debris removal and housing just weeks after landfall, which is unheard of in prior disaster responses.”
The State of Florida and FEMA reached an agreement to allow for the waiver of some requirement for debris removal on private and commercial properties, including damaged slabs on private property. Additionally, the state will be engaging the use of satellite imagery and other technology platforms to expedite damage assessments, a process that FEMA typically does by going door to door to physically inspect structures.
The Division of Emergency Management has worked closely with the Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Coast Guard, and local governments to identify and remove vessels and other debris from waterways and upland private and commercial properties. The newly created State Debris Cleanup Program will assist Hurricane Ian survivors with the removal of displaced and abandoned titled property. Residents can request the removal of debris including vehicles, vessels, motorcycles, trailers, and ATVs. To make a request, visit IanDebrisCleanup.com to report the presence of debris. To date, 869 vehicles and vessels have been identified on private and commercial properties, with efforts to identify more continuing daily.
The FEMA Direct Temporary Housing program has been approved for individuals whose homes are uninhabitable in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, and Lee counties. This program provides for 18 months of assistance for manufactured housing units, non-motorized recreational vehicles, and other ready to occupy housing for impacted individuals.
Florida has also developed a state led housing mission to provide trailers and recreational vehicles to impacted Floridians who may not be eligible for FEMA’s Direct Temporary Housing Program. Florida’s housing mission will allow families to live on their own properties while repairs are made to their homes.
Updated: Wednesday, October 26, 2022