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Hurricane Insurance Deductible Help for Hardest Hit

The Florida Housing Finance Corporation is awarding $5M to local partners in the sixth hardest-hit counties to help offset out-of-pocket insurance costs.

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Housing Finance Corporation (Florida Housing) is awarding $5 million to local housing partners in the six counties hit hardest by Hurricane Ian. The money can be used to help Floridians pay their home insurance deductibles, which is generally a lot higher than insurance deductibles for non-hurricane events.

Gov. Ron DeSantis made the announcement last week. The funding assistance is available to individuals, families and seniors living in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee and Sarasota counties. To receive the help, homeowners in those counties must apply and qualify through Florida Housing’s local housing partners.

Homeowners are encouraged to contact their local SHIP office directly for more information: Local Government Information (floridahousing.org).

Florida Housing operates as the state government’s link for housing programs. It annually receives funding from the Legislature for the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) program, of which $5 million is set aside to be used in the event of a natural disaster. The disaster funds have been allocated to assist Floridians who are low to moderate income, live in one of the six counties hardest hit by Hurricane Ian and cannot afford to pay their insurance deductibles.

“We know a lot of homeowners had coverage for the storm, however insurance deductibles are expensive and often a gap not covered by other support,” says DeSantis. “These funds will immediately help families and seniors with limited means get closer to recovery.”

“Hurricane deductibles are larger than typical deductibles for home damages, and many people impacted aren’t prepared to put up tens of thousands of dollars to begin the work of rebuilding their homes,” says Trey Price, executive director of Florida Housing. “By providing the necessary financial assistance to help these families pay their insurance deductibles, we hope this will ease some of the burden that comes after a major storm and allow the focus to remain on recovery.”

Resources compiled by Florida Housing

  • Individuals that have been displaced are encouraged to visit FloridaHousingSearch.org. The free, constantly updated statewide search platform can help locate an affordable rental property. Homeowners may also call toll-free: 1-877-428-8844.
  • If a home sustained damage as a result of the Hurricane Ian, their local SHIP office may have recovery assistance available to help with temporary relocation, rental assistance, debris removal and/or home repairs. Contact the local SHIP office directly: Local Government Information (floridahousing.org).
  • Florida residents can apply for federal assistance to help with disaster-related expenses, including temporary lodging through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. For more information, visit DisasterAssistance.gov, call (800) 621-FEMA (3362) or use the FEMA App.
  • Residents who used Florida Housing’s Homeownership Loan Program (HLP) may be eligible for Disaster Relief Assistance through U.S. Bank. Visit their website for more information.
  • Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and Federal Housing Administration loans (FHA) back the majority of U.S. mortgages, and each has some kind of program to help disaster-impacted homeowners struggling to make their monthly mortgage payment. Disaster relief options are offered to homeowners in declared major disaster areas. However, even homeowners outside those areas may have options if their home incurred a disaster-related loss that impacts their ability to make a mortgage payment. Foreclosure and other legal proceedings are also suspended while homeowners are on a forbearance plan.
  • Operation Blue Roof: Operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Operation Blue Roof provides homeowners and permanently occupied rental properties in disaster areas with fiber-reinforced sheeting to cover their damaged roofs until arrangements can be made for permanent repairs.

For more information on Hurricane Ian recovery efforts and survivor options, visit Florida Realtors Hurricane Recovery Center.

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