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CFO Sink Announces First Mitigation Grants Being Mailed to Florida Homeowners

3/30/2007

CONTACT:  Tara Klimek or Brannon Jordan
850) 413-2842 

More than 4,000 Floridians hardening their homes through the My Safe Florida Home Program
 
TALLAHASSEE– Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced today that ten mitigation grants totaling almost $30,000 have been mailed to Florida homeowners from five counties who hardened their homes against hurricanes through the My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) program.  The homeowners, who received free wind inspections during the pilot phase of the program, are being reimbursed for half the cost of a variety of home improvements, including hurricane shutters, reinforced garage doors and roof enhancements.
 
More than 4,000 homeowners who participated in the pilot phase of the program have applied for matching grants from the MSFH program.  These homeowners are currently working with licensed contractors approved by the MSFH program and making recommended improvements to their homes.  Once the work has been completed, the state will reimburse the homeowners for 50 percent of the actual cost of the improvements, up to $5,000. 
 
“I am excited that Floridians are hardening their homes before the next hurricane season starts with the help of the My Safe Florida Home program,” said CFO Sink, who oversees the Department of Financial Services.  “It is my goal to increase awareness about the financial and safety incentives available to homeowners that choose to mitigate their homes and better protect their families.”
 
The MSFH program helps Floridians identify how they can strengthen their homes and reduces the overall potential for hurricane damage in our state. To achieve this goal, the program offers eligible homeowners a free home inspection by trained and qualified hurricane mitigation inspectors. Homeowners who have received these inspections also have the opportunity to apply for a matching grant of up to $5,000 to make recommended improvements.
 
During the MSFH program’s 2006 pilot phase, more than 14,000 free wind inspections were conducted in 17 counties.  Along with an inspection report, these 14,000 homeowners received a grant application to apply for matching funds, and the department has received applications from more than 4,000 homeowners to date.
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.