On Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis arrived in Marathon to make two important announcements: $21 million in debris removal reimbursement for Monroe County, and a new $35 million program to build affordable or workforce housing in the Florida Keys. State officials say the debris removal money should be in the County’s hands by next week. 

“Jared Moskowitz of our Florida Division of Emergency Management deserves much of the credit. He has a system that is much more efficient and effective, especially for smaller communities that need reimbursements. They don’t have multi-billion budgets that they are working off of,” DeSantis said of the debris removal money.

The program for workforce or affordable housing is a partnership between the state Department of Economic Opportunity and the Florida Housing Finance Corporation. Statewide, the program has $140 million in funding, $35 million of which will be available to the Florida Keys. 

“Florida Housing Finance Corporation will launch a competitive application cycle beginning with Monroe County, allowing housing developers and public housing authorities with experience in this field to apply for funding,” DeSantis said. 

Developers will submit plans and top-ranking projects will be selected.

According to state officials, in the six months he’s been in office the governor has handed out $550 million in state and federal dollars for hurricane response and recovery for Florida communities recently damaged by hurricanes.  

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