February 2020 Update
Rebuild Florida  is a program of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) created to support communities following disasters by addressing long-term recovery needs for housing, infrastructure and economic development.
DIRECTOR'S UPDATE
2020 is off to the races and I'm more excited than ever to share what we've accomplished since our last newsletter. Rebuild Florida is continuing to help Floridians recover from past disasters and become more resilient to future storms. With unwavering support from our Governor and invaluable partnerships with communities across the state, we've been able to achieve several breakthroughs throughout this new year. Today, I'm excited to share these updates with you. Since our last newsletter, DEO:


  • DEO submitted State Action Plan for the $633 million in first-of-its kind federal funding for disaster mitigation projects during presidentially declared disasters from 2016 - 2017. HUD has 60 days to either approve or disapprove the plan.

  • Through the efforts of our federal partners, Secretary Carson and Governor DeSantis, DEO received the required guidance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the development of the State Action Plan for Hurricane Michael long-term recovery efforts. DEO continues to seek input for the use of more than $735 million in federal funds for long-term recovery efforts for Hurricane Michael-impacted communities.

  • DEO continues to work with our community partners and held several workshops on the Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program across the Panhandle to gather feedback on unmet Hurricane Michael recovery needs and priorities of impacted communities. DEO announced additional community workshops and a webinar to seek feedback on the use of Hurricane Michael recovery funds.
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  • Through the Rebuild Florida Housing Repair and Replacement Program, more than 1,100 Florida homeowners have been awarded $32.2 million for repairs to their homes.

  • DEO has issued a new Invitation to Bid (ITB) for additional qualified general and residential contractors to assist the Rebuild Florida Housing Repair and Replacement Program to expedite the construction process for Florida families. The application period will end on Wednesday, March 4, 2020.


These are just a few of the recent developments and milestones from the Rebuild Florida team over the course of this new year. There are many exciting projects currently underway, and I hope you enjoy reading about what is happening as we push forward with our mission to help Florida communities rebuild and become more resilient to future disasters.


Sincerely,


Ken

IN THE NEWS
$84 Million Awarded to Hurricane Irma-Impacted Communities Through Rebuild Florida Infrastructure Repair Program
On January 30, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that more than $84 million has been awarded to 21 communities impacted by Hurricane Irma through the Rebuild Florida Infrastructure Repair Program. The program, administered by DEO, helps communities fund infrastructure restoration and improvement projects in communities impacted by disasters.

State Action Plan for Mitigation Submitted to HUD
On February 4, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that DEO submitted the state’s action plan for the $633 million in first-of-its-kind federal funding for disaster mitigation to HUD. The funds are allocated through HUD’s newly created Community Development Block Grant – Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) program formed in response to the 2016 to 2017 presidentially declared disasters. HUD now has 60 days to review Florida’s proposed plan and then the process of securing a final grant agreement begins. A final grant agreement will allow DEO to obligate funds for eligible mitigation projects.

Effort Begins to Access More than $735 Million in Disaster Recovery Funding for Hurricane Michael-Impacted Communities
On February 7, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the launch of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO) efforts to access more than $735 million for long-term recovery efforts for Hurricane Michael-impacted communities. These funds are available through the  U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program


Ken Lawson Sets the Record Straight on Disaster Recovery Funding in Florida
When I met with Governor DeSantis about taking on the role as Executive Director of DEO, he told me helping Floridians recover from Hurricanes Hermine, Matthew, Irma and Michael were my number one priority. I took this order seriously. My first week on the job, I moved the staff working on the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program out from another division and created the Office of Disaster Recovery, having that team report directly to me. In addition, I immediately identified the need to dramatically increase staffing capacity to effectively administer this program.

PROGRAM UPDATES
Hurricane Michael Community Workshops
This month, DEO held several community workshops across the Panhandle to receive feedback from community members on their priorities for Hurricane Michael funding. In the coming weeks, DEO will announce other opportunities for community partners to learn more and provide input on the State Action Plan for Hurricane Michael recovery projects.
Hurricane Michael Long-Term Recovery Survey
An online survey to generate feedback on unmet recovery needs and long-term recovery priorities of Hurricane Michael-impacted communities remains open. We invite those in affected areas to participate in the online survey. 
DEO Staff Led Workshop at Florida Emergency Preparedness Association Annual Meeting
Earlier this month, DEO staff led a workshop on disaster recovery funding and update on the Rebuild Florida program at the Florida Emergency Preparedness Association's (FEPA) annual meeting. They also presented to a group of voluntary organizations active in disaster and discussed ways that these important organizations can collaborate with the program.

DEO Seeks Additional General and Residential Contractors for Rebuild Florida Housing Repair and Replacement Program
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has issued a new Invitation to Bid for additional qualified general and residential contractors to assist the Rebuild Florida Housing Repair and Replacement program. Rebuild Florida is a long-term recovery effort to repair, rebuild or replace the homes of Florida families that were significantly damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Irma.
 
The new Invitation to Bid will allow DEO to award qualified general and residential contractors with multiple home repair and replacement projects in geographically concentrated areas at one time to facilitate work crews more effectively and efficiently throughout the state. 

Interested parties can learn more about the technical requirements and can submit bids on the State’s Vendor Bid System . The application period has been extended to March 4, 2020. 



Rebuild Florida Workforce Recovery Training Program
DEO made $20 million available through Rebuild Florida’s Workforce Recovery Training Program. The program will provide grant funding to launch or expand training programs for construction trades in Hurricane Irma-impacted communities. 

The application cycle opened on October 28, 2019, and ran through January 10, 2020. DEO is currently in the final stages of reviewing applications.



Hurricane Irma Housing Repair and Replacement Program
DEO continues to accept registrations for the Hurricane Irma Rebuild Florida Housing Repair and Replacement Program .

Want to register? You can do so online at RebuildFlorida.gov , in person at a Rebuild Florida center , or by phone by calling 844-833-1010.



DISASTER RECOVERY RESOURCES
Stay in touch
  • View previous issues of this newsletter and sign up to receive program-specific updates here.


Hurricane Michael Recovery

  • Visit www.RebuildFlorida.gov, click on Hurricane Michael
Ways to Register for the Hurricane Irma Rebuild Florida Housing Program

  • Over the phone at 844.833.1010



Helpful Links:
www.RebuildFlorida.gov