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Florida’s My Safe Home Program

To help Floridians strengthen their homes against hurricanes, the state recently launched its “My Safe Florida Home” program. Although most funds have been handed out for 2006, the legislature is looking to extend this relief into next year.

A Floridian whose primary residence has an insured value of $500,000 or less and has a homestead exemption is eligible to apply for a free hurricane-mitigation inspection. Mobile homes or manufactured homes, second homes, rental properties, apartments, condominiums or businesses are not eligible.

Floridians whose homes have undergone a wind certification and hurricane mitigation inspection approved by the Department of Financial Services will then be eligible to apply for matching grants up to $5,000. Low-income homeowners will be eligible for $5,000 grants with no match required.

Matching grant funds are available for wind-resistance improvements in seven specific categories:

  • Improving the strength of your roof deck attachment
  • Creating a secondary water barrier to prevent water intrusion
  • Improving the survivability of your roof covering
  • Bracing gable ends in your roof framing
  • Reinforcing roof-to-wall connections
  • Upgrading exterior wall-opening protections
  • Upgrading exterior doors, including garage doors

Matching grants will also be available to local governments and nonprofit entities for projects that will reduce hurricane damage to single-family homes.

For information about the My Safe Florida Home program (more formally called the Comprehensive Hurricane Damage Mitigation Program), visit the Florida Department of Financial Services Web site at www.mysafefloridahome.com or call 800.342.2762.