REP. FITZGERALD DELIVERS $5,000 CHECK FROM THE MY SAFE
FLORIDA HOME PROGRAM TO SARASOTA RESIDENT |
On behalf of Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and the My Safe
Florida Home (MSFH) program, Representative Keith Fitzgerald (D-Sarasota)
personally delivered a matching grant reimbursement for $5,000 to a Sarasota
homeowner who hardened her home through the state’s MSFH program. At the
event today, Rep. Fitzgerald discussed the financial and safety incentives
available through the MSFH program and encouraged more homeowners in the
area to sign up for the program’s free wind inspections.
“Mitigation is the best way to protect your home. It will reduce the state’s
exposure to hurricane damage and it can result in savings on your wind
insurance premium,” said CFO Sink, who oversees the Department of Financial
Services. “I encourage more Floridians to follow Howard Houle’s lead and
sign up for free wind inspections through the My Safe Florida Home program.”
Howard Houle, a 57-year-old resident of Sarasota, received a grant
reimbursement Monday after hardening his homes opening protections. After
having his home inspected by a MSFH inspector, Houle received a report
indicating that hardening all of his home’s window and door openings would
help strengthen his home to hurricanes. Based on information from his
inspection report, Houle made $15,700 worth of improvements on his home.
"The My Safe Florida Home Program is an important incentive for homeowners
to protect their homes from hurricane damage," said Representative
Fitzgerald. "The program has not always worked smoothly in the past, but it
is important for people to know that the state has worked out many of the
initial problems. This important benefit is there for them if they qualify.
We all benefit when our neighbors harden their homes from storms because
doing so lowers insurance rates and adds to public safety."
To date, the program has reimbursed 79 homeowners in Sarasota County for a
total of $254,081.82. In Manatee County, the program has reimbursed 52
homeowners for a total cost of $167,587.53. Currently there are 383
homeowners in Sarasota County hardening their homes through the MSFH
program. In Manatee County, 313 homeowners are hardening their homes through
the MSFH program. These homeowners are being reimbursed for half the cost up
to $5,000 on a variety of home improvements, including hurricane shutters,
reinforced garage doors and bracing gable ends.
Any Floridian who lives in a single-family, site-built home is eligible for
a free wind inspection through the program. Floridians can apply on-line at
www.MySafeFloridaHome.com or by calling the program toll-free at
1-866-513-6734. Homeowners who receive free wind inspections through the
MSFH program will get a detailed inspection report, complete with additional
eligibility information on matching grants and estimated insurance premium
discounts, if the homeowner is eligible.
In order to be eligible for the program’s matching grant reimbursements of
up to $5,000, the Legislature requires that homeowners meet the following
requirements: have received a completed wind inspection after May 1, 2007;
live in a single-family, site-built home built before March 1, 2002; have a
valid homestead exemption; have an insured value of $300,000 or less; and be
located in the wind-borne debris region.
Additionally, while the free wind inspections will still cover seven
potential wind-resistance improvements, matching grants may only be applied
to opening protections, including windows, exterior doors and garage doors,
as well as the bracing of gable ends.