Monroe County residents impacted by Hurricane Irma have received more than $118 million in federal funding for housing, flood insurance claims and other recovery needs from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Here is a fact sheet regarding the assistance provided in Monroe County:
• Since Hurricane Irma struck the Keys on Sept. 10, FEMA has provided $58.1 million in grants to Monroe County homeowners and renters for uninsured damage to their primary residence and serious losses related to Hurricane Irma.
• Additionally, the National Flood Insurance Program, which is part of FEMA, has paid more than $60 million in flood insurance claims for Monroe County policyholders, according to preliminary data.
• The Small Business Administration has approved $130.3 million in low-interest disaster loans for residents and business owners in Monroe County. This includes 1,840 home loans of $98.7 million, 272 business loans of $26.7 million and 71 business Economic Injury Disaster Loans of $4.9 million.
• Anyone with questions about their loan applications can also call the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or visit www.SBA.gov/irma<http://www.SBA.gov/irma>.
• While the original program for homeowners and renters deadline has passed, there still is one opportunity for area businesses who are just now realizing they may need working capital to keep their business afloat. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan(EIDL), is available to those businesses who suffered economic injury due to the disaster and applications are accepted until June 11, 2018.
• More than 16,000 Monroe County households have received FEMA grants, which can include money for temporary rental assistance, home repairs and other needs not covered by insurance, such as replacing destroyed personal property.
• More than 9,000 Monroe County households have been provided with rental assistance money from FEMA. Many families received two months of rental assistance. This enables survivors to rent an available rental property and check out of hotels.
HELP STILL AVAILABLE/STAY IN TOUCH WITH FEMA
• Although the four Disaster Recovery Centers have closed and the deadline has passed to register with FEMA, you may continue to call FEMA to ask questions, update your contact information or request additional assistance by calling 1-800-621-3362 or visiting DisasterAssistance.gov<http://disasterassistance.gov/>.
• Only one registration per household is needed. Hold onto your nine-digit FEMA registration ID number, so you can provide it if you need to get back in touch with FEMA.
• People who still cannot live in their primary residence after two months of rental assistance may be eligible for continued rental assistance. Call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 to request continued rental assistance. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis.
HOME INSPECTIONS / HOUSING
• FEMA has conducted about 21,500 home inspections in Monroe County for assistance eligibility. About 99.7 percent of the inspections have been completed.
• By law, FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments. About 29,400 insurance claims have been filed in Monroe County, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation’s Hurricane Irma webpage.
• Members of about 430 Monroe County households who have uninhabitable primary residences and have encountered difficulty finding an appropriate place to rent are staying in hotels under FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance program. That number is down from a cumulative high of about 2,860.
• The deadline for this temporary hotel program has been extended more than once because of survivor needs and limited rental property availability. Continued eligibility for each household is determined on a case-by-case basis, so the program’s check-out deadline may or may not apply to a specific household.
• Monroe County is working with charitable organizations on case management for the households in the temporary hotel program and other people who are displaced to help find them housing.
DIRECT HOUSING FROM FEMA
• As a last resort, 200 Monroe County households are staying temporarily in housing supplied by FEMA. This includes 173 households that have been licensed into temporary travel trailers and 27 households that have been licensed into FEMA direct-lease properties.
• Part of the FEMA license agreement for a travel trailer requires the applicant to search for long-term housing options. Every 30 days, FEMA evaluates each applicant’s eligibility to remain in the trailer.
• Survivors do not apply for a travel trailer or direct-lease property. FEMA will call survivors if they are eligible for direct housing.
• Another program activated in Monroe County is called Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP). Monroe County is receiving $10 million for this program that provides up to $20,000 in temporary emergency repairs, so survivors can remain in their homes while more permanent repairs are made.
• To date, 255 households have registered for the STEP program, which is at no-cost to the homeowner. Already, 90 households have had inspections and rapid repair construction has begun on 12 homes.
• There is still time to sign up for the STEP program, but the deadline to do so is Dec. 28, 2017. The hotline is 1-800-960-5860. Information about the STEP program and forms to fill out also are available on the Monroe County website at: http://www.monroecounty-fl.gov/index.aspx?NID=728.