Curbelo Continues Fight for More Affordable Housing Options in the Florida Keys After Hurricane Irma

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Washington, D.C., November 15, 2017 | Joanna Rodriguez (202-225-2778) | comments

Representative Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) is continuing his fight for more affordable housing options in the Florida Keys following Hurricane Irma.

More than 15,000 Monroe County households have received FEMA grants, which can include money for temporary rental assistance, home repairs and other needs not covered by insurance, such as replacing destroyed personal property, as a result of the storm that hit in September. Additionally, the Florida Keys, which was already facing an affordable housing crisis before the storm, continues to need more options for residents after many of the units suffered damage from Hurricane Irma.

Curbelo has been advocating for the Navy to open 166 vacant units at Sigsbee to make them available to residents of Key West. He met with the Navy earlier this year to urge the Request for Interest (RFI) process begin. Now that the RFI has been completed, Curbelo is urgently supporting that the Navy move forward with its Request for Proposals.

“We’re working with the Navy to bring those 166 units at Sigsbee online,” Curbelo told U.S. 1 Radio News yesterday. “The RFI process where they took some ideas from different developers showed some very interesting designs. They haven’t released those because that’s all proprietary information and these individuals – these firms – are going to compete eventually in an RFP. We want to speed up that Request for Proposal process, that procurement process, to get these units online as soon as possible.

“Again, this was an urgent need before the storm, even more so now,” Curbelo added.

Curbelo also discussed the John F. Kennedy New Frontier award he will be receiving later this week, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act the House will be voting on tomorrow, and the Roy Moore controversy.

A partial transcript of Curbelo’s interview is available below and audio of the full interview is available here.

Curbelo Continues Fight for More Affordable Housing Options in the Florida Keys After Hurricane Irma
U.S. 1 Radio News 104.1 FM
November 14, 2017
https://youtu.be/MAGSki7jBXs

Representative Carlos Curbelo: “This situation with housing is becoming more and more urgent. People are desperate, and that is our greatest concern. We know that housing has been a problem in the Florida Keys for a long time and that was seriously exacerbated by Hurricane Irma.

“We are putting positive pressure on FEMA to do right by the people of the Florida Keys to make sure they are providing as many housing options as possible, whether these are mobile housing units or access to existing units that can be rented, to help people while they rebuild their lives.

“And by the way, this is also important to all the local businesses in the Florida Keys, Bill, because without a workforce it’s very hard for our economy in the Florida Keys to get back going. We know 60% of that economy is tourism.

“So we’re working hard here to make sure FEMA does a good job and adequately responds. I know early on response from FEMA got a lot of plaudits from local leaders and people at the state Emergency Management Department, but in the area of housing we need to do better.

 “Which brings me to another point, we’re working with the Navy to bring those 166 units at Sigsbee online. The RFI process where they took some ideas from different developers showed some very interesting designs. They haven’t released those because that’s all proprietary information and these individuals – these firms – are going to compete eventually in an RFP. We want to speed up that Request for Proposal process, that procurement process, to get these units online as soon as possible.

“Again, this was an urgent need before the storm, even more so now.”

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