The Secrets of the My Safe Florida Home Program: A Guide for Homeowners
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ACESS HOME IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMS VISIT PROHOMEREMODELERS.COM/FLORIDA.
Homeowners of Florida are well aware of the destructive power of hurricanes, and to help them protect their homes, the state has established the My Safe Florida Home Program. This initiative, set up as part of Senate Bill 2D, provides free wind mitigation inspections and matching grants to homeowners for necessary improvements. The program is divided into two parts: wind mitigation inspections, which are offered at no cost to single-family homeowners, and wind mitigation grants, which can be applied for based on the results of the inspections. The Florida Department of Financial Services estimates that around 11,000 to 12,000 grants will be granted with the current funding, with up to $10,000 per eligible homeowner. To qualify, homes must be located in a wind-borne debris region, have a building permit issued before 2008, and have insurance coverage of less than $500,000. Homeowners who receive grants must also allow for re-inspections after work is completed.
Access programs for tapping into your mortgage here.
The wind mitigation inspection will examine the roof, windows, doors, garage door, and other features of the home that can affect its ability to withstand high winds. The inspector will look for features like reinforced roof decking, hurricane shutters, and impact-resistant windows. Based on the results of the inspection, the homeowner will receive a report detailing the home’s wind mitigation features and any recommended improvements.
The wind mitigation grant can be used to make the recommended improvements, such as adding or upgrading hurricane shutters, reinforcing the roof, or installing impact-resistant windows. The grant is a matching grant, meaning that the homeowner will need to provide some of the funds for the improvements. The grant can be used to cover up to 80% of the cost of the improvements, up to a maximum of $10,000.
According to data from the program, homes that have undergone wind mitigation improvements through the program have experienced up to 45% reduction in wind damage during a hurricane. Additionally, homeowners who have taken advantage of the program have reported an average of 20% reduction in their annual insurance premiums. The program has also helped to reduce the number of insurance claims after a hurricane. Since its inception, more than 100,000 homes have been inspected and over 30,000 grants have been awarded.
This new program is an important step that lawmakers in Florida have taken to try to decrease the amount of damage that homes throughout the state sustain during hurricanes, and help ease the burden on insurance companies. More information about the program can be found on the program’s webpage, including the application process, eligibility criteria and the list of approved contractors.
I think I speak for every Floridian when I say that the cost of keeping your home in Florida is becoming unaffordable. I am a single parent who has owned her home for over 20 years now. My homeowner’s insurance and taxes will very soon be higher than my mortgage.
I recently tried to apply to the My Safe Florida Home Program and to my dismay homes, other than Single Family or site built, are ok to be blown away by a hurricane! and do not qualify for assistance. In spite of being within the “wind-borne debris region” required by the program, I do not qualify for assistance.
This is incredibly shocking and unjust! Please help us keep our homes safe and protected. These grants should be extended to any homes within the Wind-Borne Debris Region! Townhomes, apartments, and other structures also get blown away!
I agree. That is unfortunate. You can write your congressman/woman and tell them about what is going on. That is usually the only thing you can do, unfortunately. If they get enough messages and complaints, they will do something eventually.
Keep an eye out though. There are tons of programs in FL depending on where you are.
It is a state program. That would be your state legislators. State representative or state senator. Federal polititians have no say.
Haven’t seen any published updates for those who have received grant approval so thought I would share my experiences and hope that others start reporting on these items since the program clearly didn’t anticipate any issues:
Please help me get the word out!
Thanks Ralph! Appreciate it.
My Safe Florida Homes grants back in 2007 were not federal income taxable. I’m trying to find out if the same thing applies to these 2023 grants. Anybody know for sure if these funds are still exempt from fed income tax?
Sorry for the delay here. This took some time to find.
If you received a grant for home improvements or repairs that increase the value of your home, the funds may be subject to capital gains taxes when you sell the property. On the other hand, if you received a grant for home energy improvements, the funds may be eligible for a federal tax credit. It really depends on certain factors. I would contact the state of Florida and ask them. You can do that here – https://myfloridacfo.com/ask-fldfs
I hope this helps!
Do I meed hurricaine coverage or just general coverage to qualify??
I would contact the state of Florida. I do not think you need anything for this program, but again, I would check with them. You can call (850) 815-4000 and they can answer those questions for certain.
Thanks and good luck!
Was approved for grant and had two contractors come by and measure. Then when I text them to follow up I get no replies. Seems like they don’t want to participate. Maybe the state process overly burdensome for them compared to their other work.
Glad you got the grant! I am sure there is a process and you just gotta be patient. Check back and let us know what the latest and if there is anything we can do please let us know.