Update: DFS Commits $33 Million To My Safe Florida Home Grant Program

Update: DFS Commits $33 Million To My Safe Florida Home Grant Program

In an effort to enhance safety and provide financial relief to homeowners, the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) has offered an update on the progress of the My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) program. This initiative was birthed during the 2022 Special Session on Insurance, and it’s geared towards assisting Floridians in safeguarding their homes against the adverse impacts of storms.

Free wind mitigation home inspections and storm mitigation grants up to $10,000 are the hallmarks of the MSFH program. Its primary objectives are to enable homeowners to retrofit their homes for enhanced storm resistance and to create a pathway to reduced property insurance premiums through mandatory storm mitigation discounts. Since the program’s inception in November 2022, the MSFH initiative has achieved significant milestones, including the completion of more than 18,000 free home inspections and the approval of over 3,500 grant applications. Moreover, it has earmarked more than $33 million in Home Mitigation Grants for specific applicants. These obligated funds will be reimbursed to homeowners once the recommended retrofitting has been satisfactorily completed.

The MSFH program is projected to fully allocate its entire budget of $115 million to homeowners well ahead of the conclusion of the current fiscal year, which wraps up on June 30, 2023. Meanwhile, bills SB 748 and HB 881, which seek to extend the program’s eligibility parameters, are presently under review in the Legislature. In anticipation of the bills’ passage, the DFS is lobbying for an additional $100 million in grant funding for the 2023-24 fiscal year.

In a parallel move to the MSFH program, homeowners are being urged to tap into the home mitigation grant program. Like its counterpart, this initiative is designed to fortify homes against the ravages of storms and to contribute towards the lowering of property insurance premiums via mandatory storm mitigation discounts. It also offers a sales tax exemption for the purchase of storm-resistant doors, windows, and garage doors, thereby providing a practical means to mitigate insurance costs. This tax relief component, which amounts to a two-year, $462 million tax cut, is set to expire by the summer of 2024.

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