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HUD approves Florida’s action plan to help counties impacted by Hurricane Michael

Published: Aug. 8, 2020 at 12:42 PM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -

This week, HUD approved Florida’s action plan for more than $735 million dollars to help counties impacted by Hurricane Michael with recovery efforts and local city and county officials are chomping at the bit to use the money to rebuild and revitalize their communities.

“What the cities and the counties are doing is making sure our projects are ready as soon as that portal application process is open will have our projects prioritize and submitted,” said Bay County Assistant County Manager Joel Schubert.

Local government officials say this money is a part of the Disaster Recovery Relief Package approved by congress last year. Bay County officials say the money will be used for their long-term recovery plan they developed, which includes infrastructure, transportation and other recovery projects.

“There were hundreds of hours put in this long-term plan, hundreds of hours of community participation and feedback,” said Schubert. “These are gonna be byproducts of the projects that were listed in there that weren’t addressed already.”

Panama City City Manager Mark McQueen said they’ll use the money for their local housing assistance plan to help local storm victims with rental and homeowner assistance and more.

“We’ve already begun that initiative with housing,” said McQueen. “I think the funds we spoke of that have been approved by HUD will help to supplement our housing initiative. We’re very excited about that because we think that’s going to help a lot of our citizens throughout the county.”

McQueen said they expect the money to revitalize the economy. Officials say once the Florida Department Of Economic Opportunity agrees with the plan, the city will apply for funding.

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