My Safe Fla. Home Program Addressing Waiting List of Homeowners

April 25, 2007

My Safe Florida Home — a state-funded windstorm mitigation initiative — is vowing to take care of the more than 50,000 homeowners on its pilot program waiting list for services and begin accepting new requests for free wind inspections, according to Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink.

According to Sink, those 50,000 on the waiting list are now the first priority of My Safe Florida Home. Eleven certified wind inspection firms have been chosen to provide the free wind inspections, based upon scores, capacity to perform a minimum number of quality inspections each week and in-house resources available to manage the program applicants.

The homeowners on the waiting list do not need to re-apply and will receive an update from the program via email or letter before the end of April, according to Sink’s office.

These homeowners will be served in the order their completed applications were received and should expect to be served by the end of the summer.

New applicants 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 program and are willing to pay the $150 fee for a wind inspection, can contact one of the 11 wind inspection firms directly.

To date, the program has awarded nearly $100,000 to 43 Florida homeowners who hardened their homes against hurricanes per program specifications.

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 Florida program and will receive their matching grants once the work has been completed.

The Florida Legislature is currently considering legislation that may modify some components of the program, including grant criteria.

Source: Florida Department of Financial Services

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