Living in Florida, a state prone to hurricanes, can be beautiful and challenging. The scenic views and warm climate make it a popular tourist destination, but the threat of hurricanes is always looming.
Hurricanes can cause extensive damage to homes and properties, leaving homeowners struggling to recover. In order to help mitigate this risk, the Florida legislature enacted the My Safe Florida Home Program, which gives homeowners the opportunity to protect their homes against hurricanes and save money doing it.
The program consists of two primary components: wind mitigation home inspections and wind mitigation grants. Any single-family residential Florida property owner may apply for a free home hurricane inspection. This will identify the elements of their home construction that need improvement to mitigate against future wind damage. The inspection report will also recommend improvements to increase the strength of the home against hurricanes.
If recommended by the home hurricane inspection program, grant money is available for specific improvements such as: reinforcing roof-to-wall connections, installing secondary water resistance for the roof, upgrading roof covering, improving the strength of roof deck attachments, upgrading exterior doors, upgrading garage doors, and upgrading windows.
Homeowners may be eligible to apply for $2 in state grant money for every $1 they spend on eligible home strength improvements, up to $10,000.
To be eligible, the home must be located in designated windborne regions, the initial building construction permit for the home must have been issued prior to 2008, and the homeowner must allow their home to be reinspected after construction work has been completed.
Homeowners must also have homestead exemption and provide documentation that their home is insured for $500,000 or less (See UPDATE below).
Another aspect of the program is that there is no state sales tax on the retail purchases of impact-resistant doors, impact-resistant garage doors, and impact-resistant windows from July 1st, 2022, through June 30th, 2024. This is a significant savings for homeowners looking to improve the strength of their homes against hurricanes.
The My Safe Florida Home Program is an excellent opportunity for single-family homeowners to protect their homes against hurricanes and save money. By taking advantage of the free home hurricane inspection and grant money available, homeowners can increase the strength of their homes against hurricanes and have peace of mind during hurricane season.
If you are a homeowner in Florida, check out the My Safe Florida Home Program at mysafefloridahome.com and take the necessary steps to protect your home against hurricanes.
NOTE: As of July 1, 2023, these new rules go into effect:
- Applicants whose homes are insured for $700,000 or less and applicants outside of the Wind-Borne Debris region will become eligible to receive grant funds.<.li>
- Low-income grants will increase from $5,000 to $10,000
- Townhouses will be eligible to receive free wind mitigation inspections and grant funds for Opening Protection upgrades only. (Townhouse: A single-family unit constructed in a series or group of attached units separated by property lines. Each townhouse shall be considered a separate building and shall not exceed three stories in height (§ 481.203, F.S.).