CDBG-DR Application Deadline Announced

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The online application portal and submission of new applications for the LeeCares Hurricane Ian Housing Recovery Program ends Wednesday, May 15th at 5PM. The County is processing more than 1,300 applications requesting assistance for repairing, reconstructing, elevating or purchasing a home.

Funding for the LeeCares housing program comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery allocation to Lee County to address the disaster recovery needs of residents affected by the hurricane.

After seeing the deadline moved from May 23rd to May 15, Rebecca Link, who is the town’s liason to Lee County for this program sent the following note to us:

During the Lee County BoCC Regular Meeting on April 16th 2024, it was announced that the deadline to apply for funding from the LeeCares Individual Housing Assistance Program has been moved up to May 15, 2024 from its original deadline of May 23, 2024.

Before you start blaming FEMA or HUD, it’s important to know that Lee County BoCC put out an RFP looking for vendors to manage the LeeCares program and the funding awarded to us by the Feds.   Lee County hired an implementation vendor (Horne LLP) late last year.  It’s their employees who you interact with when making application and asking questions about the program.  Most folks don’t realize that this is standard practice and not new.  Our county officials are responsible for hiring the best vendors to manage the program.

During the April 16th Lee County Board of County Commissioners meeting, it was reported to the BoCC that Horne LLP has been able to perform a number of damage assessments on the active applications as well as solidify contractor pricing on the work to be done on those homes.  How many that entails was not discussed.

The LeeCares application window opened on Feb. 1, 2024.  As of 4/16/24 and in all of Lee County, there are a total of 1285 active applications:

  • 1036 applications for Housing Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and/or Elevation,
  • 246 for Home Purchase Assistance, and
  • 3 for Voluntary Residential Acquisition

After running some projections, Lee County Assistant County Manager, Glen Sayler reported that they have about $200 million worth of work already and recommended that the window to apply be open only one more month, setting a new application deadline of May 15, 2024.  As to why the change of date, Salyer stated,

“the primary (reason) being that you know as we go thru this program that we are going to have to continuously assess these programs and reallocate money.  It is going to take months to work through this number of applications that we have already.  And this fall, we do need to come together with the Board and look at all the programs to see what has been spent where and where money is needed to be reprogramed.  In order to be able to do that in the fall, we will need to close this application window here soon.  So, our recommendation is to close the window May 15, 2024”.

The Lee County BoCC approved the new date.

While working with almost 50 residents since appearing on Beach Talk Radio, I’ve heard several times that applicants have been given information different than was given to me by the contracted program manager as well as what is stated in the Program Guidelines.  My recommendation is that if you meet the income requirements and your damaged property was your primary home, then you should consider making an application.  If you don’t qualify, they’ll let you know. If you do, then you’ll continue on in the program and be given a case manager who will assist you throughout the process.

I suggest you contact the LeeCares Outreach Center at 239-382-5453 to see if you qualify.  If you need to fill out an application and don’t have a way to do it, visit them at 9400 Gladiolus Drive, Suite 270, Ft Myers, FL 33908.    The sooner the better!

Rebecca Link
rebecca@k12consultants.com

To view a full list of eligibility requirements and documents needed to apply, visit www.leeflcares.com.

Questions can be emailed to leecares@leegov.com. Individuals also can call 239-382-5453.

Once an application is submitted, individuals will be assigned a designated LeeCares case manager to provide updates. If an application is approved, the funding is a grant – not a loan – and does not need to be repaid if applicants comply with the terms of the grant.

Comprehensive and detailed information about Lee County’s Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Action Plan, program allocations, activities and expenditures are provided on the county’s website HERE.

1 COMMENT

  1. A big shout out to Rebecca Link! for all her help and dedication to others including myself, and to Beach Talk radio for bringing her on to help spread the word for others, far more then the Town and the hapless so called leaders have done for anyone.
    Big Thank you.

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