Gov. DeSantis announces $75M in housing assistance for Floridians


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Millions of dollars will soon be available to help struggling Floridians pay for their housing.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday that $75 million in CARES Act money will be distributed to Florida’s counties to help with rental and mortgage assistance.

DeSantis says Orange County will receive $7.26 million, Seminole County will get $1.1 million and Osceola will get $2.5 million. He did not say how much money the 10 counties in the Tampa Bay area would be receiving.

The governor also provided several coronavirus updates, including that the White House has committed to sending more shipments of the drug remdesivir to Florida to help treat patients with coronavirus.

DeSantis addressed hospital capacity as well, saying there is a 21% availability statewide. According to DeSantis, more people are being admitted to hospitals now and ICUs because they didn’t seek treatment at the beginning of the pandemic out of fear.

“The bottom line is we have capacity, we have the ability to care for people,” he said. “And COVID, while it’s important, is just a fraction of people in hospitals on any given day.”

When it comes to testing, Gov. DeSantis says it’s “going through the roof” in Florida.

“You hear about the positive tests, which obviously that’s part of it, but the number of tests being conducted are unlike anything we thought we would be able to accomplish,” he said.

He also suggested again that we’ve seen stabilization in the state.

“I think what we’re seeing is the percentage of new cases that are positive has stabilized and even maybe slightly down from where it was two weeks ago where we were pretty much 14 to 16%. Now we’re more like 12 (or) 13%,” he said. “We definitely have seen stabilization…in terms of the percentage of people who are testing positive.”

DeSantis said he believes what’s driving the positivity and case numbers are “the younger folks.” He stressed that most cases in younger age groups are asymptomatic and don’t require hospitalization.

While taking questions, Gov. DeSantis was asked about a report that surfaced Friday showing an unpublished document prepared for the White House coronavirus task force that recommends Florida and several other states roll back reopening measures.

“I think the fact that we’re testing so much has led to case numbers that have been put out there and, I think, kinda unfairly maligning the state as being something,” he said.

During a visit to Tampa on Thursday with his wife, DeSantis told 8 On Your Side he stands by Florida’s coronavirus data despite lab reporting issues that were revealed this week.

Florida reported 11,466 new cases of coronavirus on Friday.


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April 24 2021 08:00 am

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