Florida puts $5M toward helping residents of 6 counties pay home insurance deductibles after Hurricane Ian

Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee, Sarasota addressed

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a restaurant in Punta Gorda on Oct. 22, 2022. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Saturday held a news conference at a restaurant in Punta Gorda, announcing Florida would disburse $5 million — previously earmarked by the state for disaster-response funding — to help some South Floridians pay their home insurance deductibles after Hurricane Ian.

“So these funds are going to assist individuals, families and particularly seniors with low to moderate incomes in the six most impacted counties: Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee, Sarasota. I would imagine, you know, that the bulk of this will be in Lee and Charlotte, southern Sarasota and then probably parts of DeSoto and Hardee, but at the end of the day, we understand there’s a lot of challenges here, we understand that those deductibles can be difficult to meet and we want to be able to help, and so folks can stand by and you will be getting information about that very soon,” DeSantis said.

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The money will be awarded by Florida Housing Finance Corp. (Florida Housing) to local housing partners in those six counties. The region has been DeSantis’ stomping ground in the weeks since Ian made landfall as the governor has held news conferences there nearly each day, touching on many completed and in-progress disaster-recovery milestones.

“Also, when we do the special legislative session, this $5 million — if this is something that goes quickly — that’s something that we could do additional funding for some other things, and so we’re going to be looking at ways to be able to make a difference in that legislative session for folks who went through Hurricane Ian apart from simply rebating their taxes, and so stay tuned for that,” DeSantis said.

The event at Hurricane Charley’s Sushi, Raw Bar & Grill also featured Dane Eagle, secretary of the Department of Economic Opportunity, and Florida Housing Executive Director Trey Price.

Price said the money would go straight to each county’s State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) office, directing anyone in need to contact said office at their earliest convenience.

“We have $5 million in disaster funds that are being allocated to assist low and moderate-income families here, whose homes were damaged as a result of Hurricane Ian. Hurricane deductibles, as you know, are typically larger deductibles for home damages, and most people impacted by a major storm aren’t prepared to put up tens of thousands of dollars to begin the work of rebuilding their houses. Southwest Florida is home to many hardworking individuals, families and senior citizens that are an essential part of the economy and life here, so by providing the necessary assistance to help these homeowners with their insurance deductibles, we hope to ease some of the financial burden that comes after a major storm and allow their focus to remain on recovery,” Price said.

Those hopeful to benefit from the initiative were encouraged to learn more at FloridaHousing.org.

DeSantis on Friday spoke at an elementary school in Lee County, where he announced $2 million from the Florida Disaster Fund would go toward education institutions in Lee and five other South Florida counties to assist educators in Hurricane Ian’s wake.

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Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.