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CFO Alex Sink Congratulates Legislature for Improving My Safe Florida Home Program

5/3/2007

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

TALLAHASSEE—Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink today applauded the Legislature’s passage of HB 7057, which makes improvements to the state’s My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) program.  CFO Sink leads the department administering the program, the Department of Financial Services, and has been working with legislative leadership to make the program more efficient for Florida homeowners.
 
“The measures passed today by the Legislature will allow the My Safe Florida Home program to serve more Floridians and to boost our efforts to educate homeowners about the importance of mitigation,” said CFO Sink. “As Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, I look forward to increasing awareness about the financial and safety benefits available to Floridians who take steps to harden their homes.”
 
HB 7057 was sponsored by State Representatives Anthony Trey Traveisa (R-Tampa), Michael Grant (R-Port Charlotte), Robert “Rob” Schenck (R-Spring Hill) and James “Jim” Waldman (D-Coconut Creek) and now heads to Governor Charlie Crist for his signature.  State Senator Bill Posey (R-Rockledge) sponsored SB 2596, the Senate companion.
 
After being streamlined to provide better service and expanded statewide, the MSFH program in April resumed offering eligible Floridians free wind inspections.  More than 50,000 homeowners are on the program’s waiting list and these homeowners should expect to be served by the end of the summer.  Any Floridians on the waiting list who have not heard from a participating wind inspection firm by June 30, 2007, should contact the MSFH program’s toll-free helpline at 1-866-513-MSFH (6734).  
 
New applicants can apply over the MSFH program’s Web site at www.MySafeFloridaHome.com or over the program’s toll-free helpline at 1-866-513-MSFH (6734), but should not expect to receive a free wind inspection before August 2007, as the more than 50,000 pilot phase applicants have first priority.  However, Floridians who are not interested in participating in the MSFH program and are willing to pay the $150 fee for a wind inspection, can visit the Web site to learn how they can contact one of the MSFH program’s 11 wind inspection firms directly.
 
To date, the MSFH program has awarded nearly $200,000 to 88 Florida homeowners who hardened their homes against hurricanes through the 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 5,100 Floridians are currently working on mitigation improvements through the MSFH program and will receive their matching grants once the work has been completed.
 
The MSFH program helps Floridians identify how they can strengthen their homes and reduces the overall potential for hurricane damage in our state. In addition to providing education about how to better mitigate Florida homes, the program offers eligible homeowners free wind inspections by trained wind inspectors.  Homeowners who have received these inspections also have the opportunity to apply for a matching grant to make recommended improvements.
 
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.