Fla. Residents Log on to Disaster Housing Resources Web Site After Storms

November 8, 2004

A housing Web site for Florida disaster victims has reportedly drawn more than 2,600 visitors since its launch in late October.

Gov. Jeb Bush announced the Disaster Housing Resources website, DHRonline.org, to the public Oct. 29, 2004. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and State Emergency Response Team (SERT) established the site as a central forum for Florida disaster victims displaced because of recent hurricanes to search for immediate housing.

It has received an average of 217 visitors per day. Visitors have had access to 12,000 listings with more than 32,000 rental units available statewide. They are able to search for housing by price, location and specific options such as number of bedrooms and baths.

“The Disaster Housing Resources Web site is a quick and easy way for hurricane victims to find affordable, available housing,” said Craig Fugate, state coordinating officer. “Such activity on the website shows we are moving in the right direction for impacted Floridians in need of housing.”

Property owners or their representatives are adding available rental units to the site daily. Once a resource has been posted for 30 days, the property lister will be notified by e-mail that, unless renewed, the resource will be archived.

“Identifying safe and affordable housing is mutually beneficial for both residents and Florida’s real estate community” said Bill Carwile, federal coordinating officer.

The Web site was developed by Florida State University’s Florida Public Affairs Center and will be administered by FEMA and SERT for one year. Other partners include the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, the Florida Association of Realtors and the Center for Disaster Risk Policy at Florida State University.

Visitors also can find information about temporary housing programs and assistance programs offered by FEMA and SERT.

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