FEMA Funding to Keys for Irma

As of May 10, Monroe County homeowners, renters and businesses have received more than $428 million in federal funding to help them recover from Hurricane Irma, according to information provided by FEMA.

Assistance provided to Monroe County residents includes:


  • FEMA has provided $64.5 million in grants to more than 16,000 Monroe County homeowners and renters. FEMA grants can include money for temporary rental assistance, home repairs and other needs not covered by insurance, such as replacing destroyed personal property. More than 9,500 households received temporary rental assistance.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration, a FEMA partner, has approved $175 million in disaster loans for homeowners, renters and business owners in Monroe County. This includes about 2,000 home loans for $111 million and about 600 business and economic injury loans for $64 million.
  • The National Flood Insurance Program, which is part of FEMA, has paid about $189 million in flood insurance claims for Monroe County policyholders, according to preliminary data. More than 7,000 claims were filed.
  • FEMA and the State of Florida opened four Disaster Recovery Centers in Monroe County, the most of any county in the state.
  • FEMA conducted more than 21,000 home inspections in Monroe County to verify losses and determine eligibility for assistance.


  • Residents of more than 2,900 Monroe County households who had uninhabitable primary residences and encountered difficulty finding a place to rent stayed in hotels at FEMA’s expense under the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program. At the request of the State, the program lasted for six months and was extended five times.
  • FEMA, the State of Florida and Monroe County are working with charitable organizations on case management for the households. Voluntary, charitable and faith-based groups have offered housing to survivors.


By law, FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments or assistance from other agencies or programs. Nearly 30,200 private insurance claims have been filed in Monroe County, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation’s Hurricane Irma webpage.


  • Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) was activated in Monroe County as a life safety measure to protect public health and safety and to enable survivors to shelter at home. Construction has been completed for 132 homeowners.
  • Participating in STEP did not prevent Monroe County survivors from getting additional assistance from FEMA’s Individual Assistance program for rental assistance and home repairs.


  • In Monroe County, 243 households have stayed temporarily in housing supplied by FEMA, including 215 in temporary travel trailers and 28 in properties leased by FEMA. Today, FEMA continues to provide direct housing for 162 Monroe County households, including 139 in travel trailers and 23 in leased properties.
  • All 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 makes determinations about continued eligibility for direct housing on a monthly basis by speaking with survivors about their progress.


FEMA mission assigned the U.S. Coast Guard under ESF-10 to conduct cleanup and removal operations of displaced vessels in Florida waterways. More than 2,300 damaged or destroyed boats were removed in a joint effort by the Coast Guard and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, including about 1,676 vessels in the Florida Keys. This mission assignment is expected to cost about $15.7 million in the Keys.


Florida has asked FEMA to follow a reimbursement process for local governments’ Hurricane Irma projects. FEMA does not reimburse local governments directly. After 100 percent of documentation is provided, FEMA funding is provided to the State, which then reimburses local governments.

Some Monroe County updates include:

  • Monroe County: As of April 30, 2018, the County has submitted $34.9 million in projects for FEMA reimbursement. FEMA has obligated about $3.3 million to the State. As of May 11, the County has only received $604,000 from the state of FEMA obligated funds.
  • City of Key West: FEMA has obligated about $1.9 million to the State.
  • Key West Utility Board: A submitted project for about $14.3 million is expected to be obligated to the State soon.
  • Village of Islamorada: Since April 25, Islamorada has submitted documentation for projects in excess of $3.5 million. FEMA is currently reviewing these projects. Islamorada is projecting a total of $8-10 million.

FEMA is working with the State and more than 1,000 local governments and nonprofits to help them get reimbursement for every dollar they are eligible to receive for their Hurricane Irma-related projects, including debris removal, emergency protective measures and permanent work.

Statewide, FEMA has provided Florida $55.1 million to reimburse local governments and nonprofits for disaster-related projects across Florida.

The federal share of Public Assistance in Florida’s Hurricane Irma recovery is at least 75 percent of the eligible cost.


Federal law requires state agencies, local governments and nonprofits to submit documents that validate expenses they’re requesting.

Required documents include proof the damage was caused by Hurricane Irma, proof showing the pre-Irma condition of public facilities and proof local governments have completed the work.