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CFO Sink Announces New Online Search for Contractors Participating in the My Safe Florida Home Program

1/24/2007

CONTACT: Tara Klimek or Jeff Takacs
(850) 413-2842 
 
TALLAHASSEE— Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink Wednesday announced the launch of a new online search tool that will help Florida homeowners participating in the My Safe Florida Home program find approved contractors.  By visiting www.mysafefloridahome.com, homeowners will be able to search by county or type of work performed from a universe of nearly 150 contractors approved to participate with the program.
 
"Today we are giving Florida homeowners the tools to make informed choices about the professionals they hire to help them improve their homes," said CFO Sink, who oversees the Department of Financial Services.  "Floridians looking to harden their homes can turn to the My Safe Florida Home website and know that the contractors who participate with us are properly trained to perform essential hurricane mitigation improvements."
Nearly 14,000 Florida homeowners have received a free home inspection and are currently in the process of receiving their completed inspection reports with recommended home improvements.  To be eligible for matching grants of up to $5,000, homeowners choosing to make one or more of the recommended mitigation techniques must use a participating contractor.  
 
To become a participating contractor with the My Safe Florida Home program, all contractors must be licensed by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation or by a local authority for the work that they are performing through the program.  All participating contractors must also complete or already have completed a four-hour course on residential wind-resistance retrofit improvements.  As additional contractors qualify, the website will be updated regularly to reflect the current approved list of approved contractors.
 
Upon submitting their applications to partner with the My Safe Florida Home program, all contractors are screened to ensure that they have workers' compensation insurance coverage.  CFO Sink further urges all homeowners who choose a contractor from the website to verify that they have current workers' compensation insurance coverage and licensure before entering into a contract.
 
Free four-hour courses for contractors on the standards and techniques of wind-resistance retrofit improvements are now available.  For more information on these courses, contractors should log on to http://www.mysafefloridahome.com/forretrofitpros.asp
 
The program, funded with $250 million by the Florida Legislature, was created to better protect Floridians by strengthening their homes against hurricanes and to reduce the state's exposure to hurricane damage.

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.