To help Southwest Florida residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Irma, the Florida Division of Emergency Management identified in a news release these organizations to help with repairs or housing options:
» Florida Housing Portal: Find available rental housing in your community by emailing DIT@socialserve.com, calling 877-428-8844 or seeing www.floridahousingsearch.org/ or www.socialserve.com/tenant/FL/index.html?type=rental.
» Army Corps of Engineers’ Operation Blue Roof: The Corps recently visited Southwest Florida to install the first temporary blue plastic sheeting over a damaged roof. To get a blue roof, see www.saj.usace.army.mil/BlueRoof or call 1-888-ROOF-BLU (1-888-766-3258).
» Department of Business and Professional Regulation: Before signing a contract, you can verify a construction professional’s state license by visiting www.myfloridalicense.com, calling 850-487-1395 or downloading the department’s mobile app available in iTunes or Google Play. To report a suspected unlicensed activity, call the Unlicensed Activity Hotline, 866-532-1440, email ULA@myfloridalicense.com or use the DBPR’s mobile app.
» Consumer fraud hotlines: Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Fraud Hotline, 866-720-5721, and the Florida Attorney General’s fraud and price gouging hotline, 866-966-7226.
» Housing and Urban Development Department: If you were affected by the hurricane and live in one of the counties declared for individual assistance, you might be eligible for assistance through HUD’s Federal Housing Administration. To see whether you qualify, visit https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/sfh/nsc/qaho0121
» Voluntary organizations active after disasters: For crisis cleanup, call 800-451-1954. The hotline connects survivors with relief agencies that might be able to assist free of charge with debris removal and cleanup of homes. To donate or volunteer, see www.volunteerflorida.org/irma/.
» Florida Housing’s State Housing Initiatives Partnership: Residents with damage to their homes or apartments can contact Florida Housing’s State Housing Initiatives Partnership program (SHIP) for help. To find a local office, see www.floridahousing.org/programs/special-programs/ship—state-housing-initiatives-partnership-program/local-government-information.
» Florida Manufactured Housing Association: Displaced homeowners and renters can find temporary or long-term housing through the Florida Manufactured Housing Association. See www.fmha.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 850-907-9111.
» Disaster Contractors Network: Register at www.dcnonline.org to find local licensed contractors who repair homes.
» Florida Realtors: For information about available homes, see www.realtor.com.
» Legal Assistance: If you have legal issues due to a hurricane-related disaster, see http://floridalawhelp.org/. The Florida Justice Technology Center is providing resources and information about organizations offering legal help. Free legal assistance also is available for Irma survivors by calling 1-866-550-2929. The hotline is a partnership involving The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, and FEMA. Also, Florida Free Legal Answers, an online advice clinic, is matching low-income residents with licensed attorneys who can answer questions. See https://florida.freelegalanswers.org/.
Out of work from Hurricane?