TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) program will achieve its goal of 35,000 grants to homeowners by the end of this month, and the first-come, first-served program will stop accepting grant applications.
The MSFH program will transition to an inspection-focused program beginning June 2008, offering free wind inspections for eligible homeowners until it reaches the Legislature’s goal of performing 400,000 inspections or until the program sunsets in June 2009.
“With hurricane season less than one month away, I encourage Floridians to sign up for a free wind inspection to learn how to harden their homes against hurricane damage,” says Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who oversees the Department of Financial Services. “The response from homeowners has been overwhelming, and I thank the Legislature for creating this program and allowing us to enable more than 35,000 Floridians to make their homes more storm-resistant.”
The MSFH program will provide home inspections for at least 400,000 site-built, single-family residential properties, and provide grants to at least 35,000 applicants. To date, the MSFH program has approved approximately 32,292 homeowners for mitigation grants, paid 6,930 grants totaling more than $22.4 million, and provided more than 222,981 free wind inspections. Participating homeowners receive a wind inspection report, which suggests ways they can harden their homes against storm damage.
Many homeowners save money on insurance premiums immediately. Since insurers generally offer discounts for certain hurricane-resistant features in homes, the independent inspection confirms existing structural components worthy of a discount. Homeowners may not know their home has the protection or that their insurer offers a discount for it. In some cases, the insurer requires an inspection before it offers the discount and the homeowner cannot afford the cost of a private inspection.
According to Sink, 59 percent of the homeowners who have received a free wind inspection so far were eligible for a discount that averaged $217 statewide.
Grant application deadlines
Online: Saturday, May 31, 2008
Over the phone: Friday, May 30, 2008
Proof of homestead and insurance and/or income: Postmarked no later than June 13, 2008
For additional information, log on to www.MySafeFloridaHome.com.