The Aftermath of Hurricane Irma in South Florida

hurricane irmaAlthough it has been quite some time since Hurricane Irma made landfall in South Florida, many families are still confined to living in hotels due to the inability to find new housing or returner to their former home; the conditions of homes that were damaged by Irma are still unfit to live in. As if the destruction of this hurricane didn’t cause enough stress and anguish to families, officials announced that eligibility for the federal government’s temporary hotel program expired this month. With so many families still residing in hotels, this sent a frenzy across South Florida. In fear that many families would soon face destitution, an abundance of social service agencies worked their hardest to ensure that families would not be forced to live on the streets.

Thousands Are Still Living In Hotels

On January 3rd, there was a recorded number of 4,359 families in Florida that were living in hotels on the temporary hotel program enacted by the federal government. Only one week later, the 4,359 families decreased by half to approximately 2,011 families; and not because their homes were deemed habitable or new homes became available to them. Unfortunately, even though FEMA made the effort to expand the program until February 6th, many officials were still informing families that they could no longer reside in their designated hotel. Due to this, hotel residents in Broward County dropped from 318 families to 109, 561 to 280 in Miami-Dade County, and 146 to 52 in Palm Beach County. In an effort to save families from the fate of being destitute, The United Way of Broward County interceded. Unfortunately, they were only able to help 105 families and are unsure of the outcomes that other families are being forced to deal with.

Fortunately, in light of this deplorable situation, the city of Fort Lauderdale decided to offer hotel assistance to the families who were no longer eligible for FEMA’s program. Since the city of Fort Lauderdale lent a helping hand, FEMA released a statement regarding the manner in which they deemed families ineligible for their program. John Mill, FEMA’s spokesman explained that there was a multitude of reasons as to why a family’s housing assistance was suspended. Mill stated that if a family didn’t respond to calls or emails that inquired their status, their insurance covered their losses, their residence was deemed safe to live in, or the family received another form of housing assistance from FEMA, then their eligibility for hotel residence was no longer valid.

Currently, rental assistance from Hurricane Irma currently resides at $130 million in Miami-Dade, $62 million in Broward County, and $33 million in Palm Beach County. The state of Florida is working its very hardest to rebuild the areas that were destroyed by Irma, allowing families to move back into their homes or create new, affordable and accessible housing for them to start a new life in.

Secure Your Home With The Best Kind of Protection

Hurricanes are just an inevitable occurrence in South Florida. The best thing we can do is to secure our homes and families in case of the worst.  Don’t bother with the hassle of installing plyboard or hurricane shutters every time there is the threat of a major storm. At All American Windows, we install impact windows in Fort Lauderdale and through South Florida that offer the most reliable form of hurricane protection. Contact us today at 954-786-8525


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