Aid for the panhandle

When Hurricane Michael hit the panhandle in October 2018, tens of thousands of people lost their homes and jobs. Among these were thousands of Puerto Ricans, including some people who lost their homes in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and resettled in Panama City. With our partner organization, Boricuas de Corazón, we contacted dozens of families who were displaced by Hurricane Michael. We brought them to Tallahassee to visit legislators, including the State Senate President, the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and Senators and Representatives from both sides of the isle.

Previous to our visit to the capitol, the House was proposing $49M from the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund to housing aid for the Panhandle. After our visit with the families, the Senate announced $219M for Hurricane Michael relief, including $100M from general revenue for affordable housing. Our visit generated interest throughout the capitol and prompted site visits to Panama City from legislators like Senator Victor Torres. Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried led a bi-partisan delegation of legislators to the panhandle.

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