The Clock Ticks for Ivan Relief Help

Time is running out to help displaced Florida hurricane victims. That’s the message Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings is sending as the state’s Hurricane Housing Work Group prepares its final report.

Jennings chairs the work group, which has been studying how best to spend nearly $700 million in state and federal dollars earmarked to help storm victims.

Jennings says FEMA trailers can only be used as temporary shelters for 18 months.

“We must make sure that when those 18 months are up we’ve got places for people to go, and as we see by all blue tarps that we still see on homes, the workmen shortage is still very prevalent, as is the material shortage, so we have to think about how we’re going to make sure that we use the best we’ve got and do it in a hurry.”

Jennings says recommendations will include funding for fixing damaged homes, building new affordable housing and rental units, and creating new housing for farm workers. The state will also work to educate non-profit and faith-based groups on how to tap into the funds.