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CFO Sink: More than 100,000 Homeowners Have Signed up for the My Safe Florida Home Program

8/30/2007

CONTACT:  Tara Klimek or Brannon Jordan
(850) 413-2842
 
After going statewide five months ago, program at 25 percent of its goal for free wind inspections
 
TALLAHASSEE-- Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink today announced that more than 103,000 Florida homeowners have signed up for free wind inspections through the My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) program, signifying the program has reached 25 percent of its long-term goal of 400,000 free wind inspections in the next two years.
 
“Thousands of Florida homeowners are learning how to harden and protect their homes from hurricane damage,” said CFO Sink, who runs the Department of Financial Services and oversees the MSFH program.  “We are able to help thousands more Floridians in the next two years.  I encourage every eligible Florida homeowner to sign up to receive a free wind inspection from the My Safe Florida Home program.”
 
Any Floridian who lives in a single-family, site-built home is eligible for a free wind inspection through the MSFH program, which helps Floridians identify how they can strengthen their homes and reduces the overall potential for hurricane damage in our state.  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 receive a detailed inspection report, complete with additional information on estimated insurance premium discounts, if the homeowner is eligible. 
 
Additionally, some Florida homeowners receiving a free wind inspection may be eligible for a matching grant reimbursement of up to $5,000 to make recommended improvements.  To be eligible, the Legislature requires that homeowners: 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.
 
The MSFH program expanded statewide this spring after a pilot program the previous year and has performed more than 72,000 free wind inspections since April 23, 2007, for a total of 86,969 inspections since the program started.  Since the program streamlined its services and re-launched in April 2007, CFO Sink has increased helpline staff, reduced the wait time for an inspection, and recruited hundreds of program inspectors and contractors. 
 
Approximately 8,700 homeowners statewide have been approved to receive matching grants from the MSFH program upon the completion of their recommended improvements.  Statewide, the program has issued nearly $2.8 million in grants to 890 homeowners who have completed the improvements recommended in their MSFH inspection reports.