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CFO Sink Commends Legislation Improving the My Safe Florida Home Program

1/17/2007

CONTACT:  Tara Klimek or Jeff Takacs
(850) 413-2842
 
TALLAHASSEE—Working with the Legislature to make a number of improvements to the state's newly-created mitigation fund, Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink Wednesday commended legislation moving through the House of Representatives that will expand protections and access to the services available through the My Safe Florida Home program. 
 
Sponsored by State Representatives Trey Traviesa (R-Brandon) and Franklin Sands (D-Weston), the House legislation (5A) includes new requirements for wind inspectors to pass a Level 2 background check which includes fingerprinting, removes obstacles for low-income homeowners without insurance to participate in the program and creates a study committee to further explore additional ways to help Floridians strengthen their homes against hurricanes.
 
"I share the Legislature's goal of ensuring the proper protections are in place and serving a greater number of Floridians through the My Safe Florida Home program," said CFO Sink.  "This program provides valuable information, and we are finding that many homes are better fortified than are currently recorded by insurance companies.  Many homeowners are eligible to receive discounts from their insurance companies without even making a single improvement."
 
The My Safe Florida Home program was created by the Legislature during the 2006 Legislative Session.  Former CFO Tom Gallagher created an initial pilot phase of the program comprising more than 13,000 home inspections, which has ended.  As homeowners receive their completed inspection reports, they will learn the potential improvements they can make to their homes, along with applications for matching grant funds of up to $5,000.
 
More information about the program is available at www.mysafefloridahome.com. To date, the My Safe Florida Home program has received more than 65,000 applications for wind inspections.  CFO Sink will continue to work with the Legislature to make the necessary improvements.  Additional applications will be processed once the program restarts, as early as March. 
 
"We are currently evaluating the My Safe Florida Home program to determine the best course of action going forward," said CFO Sink.  "I want to make certain that Floridians are given the tools and information they need to fortify their houses and keep their families safe during hurricanes."
 
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink  oversees the department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. CFO Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.