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My Safe Florida Home Program Nears 35,000 Grants

5/13/2008

Contact:  Tara Klimek or Kevin Cate
(850) 413-2842
 
Program will continue offering free wind inspections until it reaches goal of 400,000
 
TALLAHASSEE— Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink today announced that the My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) program is projecting it will exceed the Florida Legislature’s goal of approving 35,000 homeowners for grants by the end of May.  The first-come, first-served program will stop accepting new grant applications at that time. MSFH will continue to work with homeowners currently making improvements to their homes.
 
The MSFH program will transition to an inspection-focused program beginning June 2008, offering free wind inspections for eligible homeowners until it reaches the Legislature’s goal of performing 400,000 inspections or until the program sunsets in June 2009.
 
“With hurricane season less than one month away, I encourage Floridians to sign up for a free wind inspection to learn how to harden their homes against hurricane damage,” said CFO Alex Sink, who oversees the Department of Financial Services. “The response from homeowners has been overwhelming, and I thank the Legislature for creating this program and allowing us to enable more than 35,000 Floridians to make their homes more storm-resistant.”
 
Homeowners who have already received an inspection and meet other statutory requirements may apply for a grant online at www.MySafeFloridaHome.com or by calling toll-free 1-866-513-MSFH (6734).  In addition to completing an application online or over the phone, homeowners are required to provide the MSFH program with proof of homestead and insurance for matching grants or proof of homestead and income for low-income grants.  Deadlines for applying for a MSFH grant and the submission of these required application documents are listed below.
 
Grant Application Methods        Grant Application Deadlines
 
Apply online                                 Saturday, May 31, 2008
 
Apply over the phone                    Friday, May 30, 2008
 
Mailed proof of homestead and insurance for matching grants must be postmarked by Friday, June 13, 2008.
Mailed proof of homestead and income for low-income grants must be postmarked by Friday, June 13, 2008.

  
In 2007, the Florida Legislature directed the MSFH program to provide inspections for at least 400,000 site-built, single-family, residential properties and provide grants to at least 35,000 applicants before June 30, 2009.  To date, the MSFH program has approved approximately 32,292 homeowners for mitigation grants and has paid 6,930 grants totaling more than $22.4 million.  The MSFH program has also provided more than 222,981 free wind inspections.  Participating homeowners receive a wind inspection report, which suggests ways homeowners can harden their homes against storm damage and informs homeowners if they are currently eligible to save money on their wind insurance premiums.  To date, 59 percent of homeowners who have received a free wind inspection are eligible for discounts on their wind insurance premiums averaging $217 statewide.  For additional information, log on to www.MySafeFloridaHome.com.
 
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