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The Rebuild Florida Housing Repair and Replacement Program for Hurricane Michael opens applications for those in need

With $246 million available, the Rebuild Florida Housing Repair and Replacement Program is...
With $246 million available, the Rebuild Florida Housing Repair and Replacement Program is looking to help eligible families rebuild hurricane-damaged homes.(WJHG/WECP)
Published: Jan. 31, 2021 at 2:14 PM CST
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - We are now two years post-Hurricane Michael, and the damage still surrounds us.

“We still have people that don’t have their homes repaired, still have tarps on their houses or their houses are falling in,” Bay County Commissioner Robert Carroll said.

With $246 million available, the Rebuild Florida Housing Repair and Replacement Program is looking to help eligible families rebuild hurricane-damaged homes.

“Sometimes people will need extra helping hand and that’s exactly what these grants are intended to do,” Florida Chief Financial Advisor Jimmy Patronis said.

Rebuild Florida is partnering with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to serve twelve panhandle counties, including Bay, Jackson and Calhoun counties.

Thursday, the DEO began accepting applications for those looking for help.

“With all this money being allocated, they can hopefully now have an opportunity to get their homes fixed if they’re still in need,” Bay County Commissioner Caroll said.

Officials say they are prioritizing lower-income households or those with vulnerabilities.

“You’ve got a big area that this stretches but this can be your personal property, it can be a rental. It will be prioritized by income-based, or if you’ve got senior citizens or children. They’re trying to spread this money around for all different people that are in need,” Bay County Commissioner Caroll continued.

Officials ask residents to be patient through the application process.

“There will be due-diligence because we have to ensure that the dollars are only going to verified beneficiaries, and not somebody who is trying to exploit a benefit or a grant program that the state is administering,” Florida Chief Financial Advisor Patronis said.

State Officials add they’re excited to see this money being put toward rebuilding Northwest Florida.

You can apply online by visiting RebuildFlorida.gov, or in person at a Rebuild Florida Center.

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