Jimmy Patronis Launches My Safe Florida Home Program

Last week, the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) announced the launch of the My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) program and the opening of the application process for free wind mitigation home inspections and up to $10,000 in storm mitigation grants for Florida homeowners.

In October, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis directed the program to be expedited during the procurement process for home inspectors to ensure Floridians can fortify their homes quickly and obtain premium reductions as soon as possible. The agency conducted a soft-launch earlier in the month, and the agency has already received over 400 applications by homeowners for inspections. DFS encourages Floridians to take advantage of the home mitigation grant program to harden their home against storms and help lower their property insurance premiums through mandatory storm mitigation discounts.

The My Safe Florida Home Program, passed by the Florida Legislature in 2022, will provide eligible Florida homeowners the ability to obtain free home inspections that would identify storm mitigation measures and provide grants to retrofit homes, hardening properties from storm damage and helping decrease the cost of residential property insurance in the state.

The My Safe Florida Homes Program consist of two primary components:

· Wind Mitigation Home Inspections. All owners of site-built, single family, residential homes are eligible to make application for a wind mitigation home inspection. This inspection will identify those elements of your home’s construction which could be improved to mitigate your home against future wind damage. All inspections will be provided to eligible homeowners free of charge by the State. Applications will be reviewed and approved in the order in which they are received, until current funding is exhausted. (DFS anticipates completing between 140,000 and 145,000 initial home inspections.)

· Wind Mitigation Grant awards for home construction. Homeowners who have received a wind mitigation inspection, may be eligible to apply for matching grant funds to make improvements to their home. (DFS anticipates awarding between 11,000 and 12,000 grants based on current funding.)

The Legislature has authorized DFS to provide a matching grant to eligible homeowners up to $10,000 for the actual cost of qualifying home hurricane mitigation projects. The program will provide $2 in grant funds for every $1 the homeowner provides. To receive the maximum grant amount, homeowners must provide $5,000 of their own funds toward the project.

The Department of Financial Services will provide a list of contractors that have agreed to participate in the program. Applicants will be required to use a contractor from that list.

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