Looking to hurricane-proof your home but balking at the price tag? Matching funds of up to $10,000 are now available to qualified homeowners thanks to a popular program that has already awarded $100 million for mitigation efforts.
Responding to its initial success last year, the Florida Legislature in May approved an additional $100 million for the My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) program to assist in renovations on homesteaded properties to better withstand hurricane-driven wind and rain.
“The My Safe Florida Home Program helps homeowners protect their homes against future storms and can help lower their insurance premiums, as well,” said Tim O’Neil, program information administrator for the Florida Department of Financial Services. “The free wind inspections identify upgrade opportunities, and the grants help cover the cost, making the program a win/win for Floridians.”
If history is any indication, you have to act fast. The grant program is set up on a first-come, first-served basis and was so popular last year that funds were totally committed after only a few months.
If you have not already had an acceptable hurricane mitigation inspection conducted after July 1, 2008, the first step is getting a free wind mitigation inspection completed on your home. To apply, fill out the application form on the My Safe Florida Home website. Owners of site-built, single-family residential properties may apply for and receive an inspection without further obligation to apply for a grant.
Homeowners who have received a wind mitigation inspection may be eligible to apply for up to $10,000 in grant funds – $2 in matching funds for every $1 spent by the resident – to make inspection identified improvements.
To be eligible:
- You must provide proof of homestead exemption.
- You must provide documentation that your home is insured for $500,000 or less.*
- The home must be in the wind-borne debris region of the state.
- The initial building construction permit for the home must have been issued prior to January 1, 2008.
- You must allow your home to be reinspected after construction work has been completed.
Eligible projects include:
- Upgraded roof coverings, roof deck attachments, roof-to-wall connections and secondary water barriers for the roof
- Exterior door upgrades
- Window upgrades
- Garage door upgrades
Inspections and renovations must be completed by an MSFH program-approved contractor.
More information and forms are available at mysafeflhome.com. Don’t wait. Apply today.
*Note: Homeowners who are low-income persons, as defined in s. 420.00004(11), F.S., are exempt from this requirement.