The update – if signed by Gov. DeSantis – essentially allows Fla. owners to boost their home’s hurricane protections, with the state paying $2 for every $1 a homeowner spends.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Legislature passed a bill that expands the My Safe Florida Home program, which offers free home inspections and, in some cases, funding to boost a home’s defenses against hurricane-force winds.
SB 881 now goes to Gov. Ron DeSantis. If he signs it into law, it goes into effect on July 1, 2023.
The program offering free home inspections to every Florida homeowner already existed, but it only offered financial help to homeowners in selected areas in a “windborne debris region” – generally ones close to the coast or across a wide swath of South Florida.
The update, however, would expand financial aid to virtually every Florida homeowner.
Program highlights if signed by the governor
- If a program home inspector recommends hurricane mitigation upgrades, owners can received $2 for every $1 they spend, up to a maximum of $10,000.
- Covered improvements – if recommended – include upgrades to roofs, roof-wall reinforcements, window glass, exterior doors and garage doors.
- Eligible homes would have an insured value no higher than $700,000 – an increase from the current $500,000.
- Low-income Florida homeowners can get $10,000 without spending their own money – an increase from the current $5,000.
The program has proved popular in South Florida, where many owners have qualified for financial help. Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis, who advocated for SB 881, requested additional funding as the program expands.
“As the 2023 hurricane season approaches, Floridians are looking for ways to harden their homes and reduce their insurance costs,” Patronis said in statement. “The ‘My Safe Florida Home’ program does just that, and I am proud to support HB 881. … Our agency is also requesting another $100 million in funding for the program so that Floridians can take advantage of the savings and protect their biggest investment from storms – their homes. Thank you Senator Boyd and Representative LaMarca for their hard work and due diligence to usher this legislation through the process and onto the Governor’s desk.”