Home News In wake of Ian, Florida homeowners could receive up to $10K for home hardening

In wake of Ian, Florida homeowners could receive up to $10K for home hardening

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Floridians may soon have access to a $150 million program aimed at making their homes stronger.

In May, Florida legislators A comprehensive non-life insurance reform package. Among other things, the bill reinstated the My Safe Florida Home program. The program provides homeowners with free home inspections and grants of up to $10,000 to make improvements related to storm safety.

After about 5 months, residents still can’t apply. But that could change in the coming weeks, according to the office of chief financial officer Jim Patronis, who oversees the program.

“The CFO has directed the project to be expedited, so the target date for implementation is the end of October,” said spokesperson Devin Galetta.

To qualify:

  • Homeowners must have a homestead exemption.
  • Your home must have an insured value of $500,000 or less.
  • Homes must have passed an acceptable hurricane mitigation inspection after July 1, 2008.
  • The home must be located as specified by the Florida Building Code. “Wind-borne rubble area”.
  • The building permit application for the first construction of the home must be made before July 1, 2008.
  • Homeowners must agree to allow their homes to be inspected once the mitigation project is complete.

Congressman Ben Diamond, D-St. City of St. Petersburg says there is “no doubt” that homeowners most affected by Hurricane Ian could benefit from such a program. said.

“There are a lot of people in Florida who can’t do what they need to do to make sure their homes are positioned to withstand a hurricane,” he said.

He added that My Safe Florida Homes could save taxpayers money in the long run if it means reducing the number of claims that state-run civil property insurance has to cover.

Critics of the program say it does little to solve the state’s massive problems Property insurance crisis.

The program (which secures $35 million in administrative costs) only has enough money to upgrade 11,500 homes if each applicant receives a grant of up to $10,000.

“It’s a great political issue, but I don’t know if it will have any meaningful impact,” said Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg.

Others, such as Orlando Democratic Rep. Anna Escamani, lamented the thousands of residents left out of the program. None of her members are entitled to help, as her district is outside the “Windborne Debris Area”.

She said the flooding Orlando experienced after Hurricane Ian underscored the need for a broader sweeping approach.

“I think home hardening is important,” she said. But “I think this is just another example of Congress passing a policy with a short-term goal and not even achieving that short-term goal.”

• • •

Tampa Bay Times Coverage of Hurricane Ian

How to help: A place to donate or volunteer to help victims of Hurricane Ian.

FEMA: Floridians injured by Ian can now apply for FEMA assistance. Method is as follows.

The storm has gone: So? Safety tips for returning home.

Post-Storm Questions: After Hurricane Ian how to get help Fallen trees, food and shelter damage.

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Weather effects: Hurricane Ian was supposed to hit Tampa Bay head-on. what happened?

MORE STORM COVERAGE: Be prepared and stay up to date. tampabay.com/hurricane.

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