Hurricane Irma Recovery

Photo off FEMA Travel Trailers on Big Pine Key LR

It's been more than a year since Hurricane Irma struck the Florida Keys on Sept. 10, 2017. Some of our residents and business owners are still struggling to recover. Monroe County staff have been working on obtaining a variety of federal and state grants to help in the community's long-term recovery. On Sept. 24, Rebuild Florida was launched. It's a state run program with federal funding.


The Federal Government appropriated funding through the Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) to respond to Hurricane Irma impacts. Florida is slated to receive $616 million in the first round. This money will help families/residents whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged by Hurricane Irma repair or rebuild their homes. The GREAT NEWS: $90 Million has been set aside for the Florida Keys in the first round.

Who is eligible?

Rebuild Florida is a program open to residents with low and moderate income levels who own their homes and also to owners of rental properties who rent to residents with low and moderate incomes. The 2018 maximum levels in the Keys to meet low income are as follows, based on the size of the household. Priority will be given to the most needy.

  • 1 person: $ 74,160
  • 2 people: $ 84,720
  • 3 people: $ 95,280
  • 4 people: $105,840
  • 5 people: $114,360
  • 6 people: $122,880
  • 7 people: $131,280
  • 8 people: $139,800

How can I register?

There are four ways Monroe County residents can register for Rebuild Florida:

Rebuild Florida Mobile Bus in the Keys Week of DEC. 17-22 FOR FINAL REGISTRATION PUSH

Photo of the state DEO’s Rebuild Florida mobile bus in Layton during a stop to help people regist

A Rebuild Florida bus, run by the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity, will be at two locations in the Keys from Dec. 17-22. It's a mobile center with case managers on hand to help people of low or moderate income whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged by the storm. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

•    December 17-19: Baby's coffee shop, 3180 Overseas Highway (MM 15), Saddlebunch Key, FL

•    December 20-22: CVS Pharmacy, 91419 Overseas Highway, Tavernier, FL

First Rebuild Florida Center Opens in Marathon

Photo of first Florida Rebuild Center in Marathon-1

The first of nine Rebuild Florida centers around the state opened Sept. 24 in Monroe County. At the center, case managers are available to help homeowners register for the program. The center, located at 2796 Overseas Highway in Marathon (the state building next to the Marathon Government Center), will be open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It will be the only center in the Keys. Residents only need to bring ID to register. 

For more information about Rebuild Florida, go to the County's webpage: Florida Rebuild.

For more Information on Grants & Funding:

  • For more information about Irma Housing Grants and Programs, click here.
  • For more information about HUD Funding for Irma Recovery, click here.


A Long Term Recovery Group also has been working for months to help. Go to the LTRG's website page for more information.


1-305-859-IRMA (4762)

  • Are you finding it hard to get back to normal? 
  • Are you having trouble determining next steps?
  • Do you need help navigating available resources?

There is help available. Call the hotline to reach Compass 82, a nonprofit that specializes in navigating disaster recovery resources. Compass 82 has partnered with Volunteer Florida to provide disaster case management to residents who were affected by Hurricane Irma. 

Irma Helpline Flyer South Florida (002)

Non-Profit Grant Funding Programs to Assist Irma Victims

Photo of Samuels House and logos

The non-profit, through Samuel's House, has been awarded the following grant funding programs to assist victims in the Florida Keys as follows:

Red Cross- Recovery In The Keys:
A License Clinical Social Worker is available to help survivors of Hurricane Irma with "One-on-One assistance to individuals and families." Please call Lynda Woods, LCSW@ (305) 942-6906 - by appointment only.

Volunteer Florida (Florida Disaster Funds) - Brick & Mortar:
Funding has been awarded to Samuel's House for home repairs and rebuilding efforts with a threshold of up to $20,000 per home.

Red Cross -  Intermediate Needs
Grant funds have been awarded to Samuel's House for basic needs which include clothing, hygiene, medical services, lease and rental assistance, security deposits and related relocation expenses, mortgage assistance, utilities assistance and other related items.

Red Cross -  Rebuilding in the  Keys:  Brick & Mortar:
Funding is available and awarded to help with rebuilding and repairs to homes throughout the Florida Keys; there is a threshold of $16,500 per residence.

For further information and assistance please call or text Elmira Leto@ {305) 434-6564 between the hours of 9 a.m.  and 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday.  Funds are limited. Make that call today!



As of Sept. 4, 2018, there are 104 households living in FEMA temporary trailers in the Keys and 22 households living in FEMA direct-leased properties. This is down from the original 243 households (215 in travel trailers and 28 in direct-leased properties) who have stayed temporarily in housing supplied by FEMA.

  • All FEMA-eligible survivors have been housed. To remain eligible for FEMA’s emergency temporary housing, survivors must continue to work on a permanent housing plan.
  • FEMA caseworkers make determinations about continued eligibility for direct housing on a monthly basis by speaking with survivors about their progress and providing rental resources.


As of Sept. 4, 2018, Monroe County homeowners, renters and businesses have received more than $514 million in federal funding to help them recover from Hurricane Irma, according to information provided by FEMA.


As of August 20, 2018, the County has submitted $39.8 million in projects for FEMA reimbursement. FEMA has obligated (approved) about $8.1 million and made it available to the State for distribution to the County. The State also does a review process before sending the money to the County. As of August 20, 2018, the County has received about $2.3 million from the state of the County's FEMA-obligated funds.


Monroe County Emergency Management led a 16-person Reentry Program Core Task Force that examined the current reentry program following mandatory evacuations in Monroe County for Hurricane Irma.