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Renters Struggle to Recover from Spring Fires

Months after wildfires destroyed dozens of homes in Palm Bay, frustrated renters in the area say they're having trouble getting back on their feet.

Homeowners can receive help from Palm Bay through a $1 million fund, but renters like Sonya and Russell Bailey have received
little help since the May fires. The Bailey said they couldn't afford rental insurance and lost everything in the fire, including Sonya's purse and their beloved dog, Elvis.

Brevard Long Term Recovery Coalition case manager Jerry Hinds said he has helped the Baileys with rent money and utility payments, but said "renters are the most underhelped in this circumstance."

A spokesman for Gov. Charlie Crist's office says renters have "limited protection" in such disasters.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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