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Homeowners call for more funds for My Safe Florida Home Program

By: Nadeen Yanes
Posted at 6:37 PM, Jan 29, 2024 

Every day, Florida homeowners say they will soon be priced out of their homes due to high insurance rates—homeowners like Stephen Posilovich, who lives in Venice. 

“If it keeps creeping up 10-20% a year, it’s going price me out of the house,” he said. 

Posilovich is one of thousands who applied for the state’s My Safe Florida Home Program, but funds have since run out. The state is no longer accepting new applications, and now lawmakers are pushing to expand the program and replenish the funds.

My Safe Florida Home is a home hardening program that offers eligible Florida homeowners grant funding of up to $10,000 with the goal of making improvements to their homes to bring down those high insurance premiums. 

“That would be nice,” Stephen said. 

The program offers two things to homeowners: free wind mitigation home inspections and wind mitigation grant awards for home construction. 

According to data from the Florida Department of Financial Services, which oversees the program, the state has already completed more than 94,000 free home inspections. 

Regarding the grant money, more than 23,000 applications have been approved, and 4,500 homeowners have completed the program, which shows how quickly the money dried up.

Marty Bender emailed ABC Action News’ Nadeen Yanes to see if lawmakers planned to re-fund the program. 

“Do you have any information if the general assembly is planning to continue the My Florida Safe Home program to provide residents $10,000 funding to spend on hurricane protection to our home to lower our insurance costs?” the email read. 

“There has been legislation that has been filed to expand the My Safe Florida Home program,” said Tasha Carter, Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate. “It will also be included in the Governor’s budget.” 

There have been a handful of bills filed to expand and make changes to the program. 

Carter said the Governor is expected to include it in his budget, which she said will allocate funding every year.

“He is proposing to allocate $107 million in annual funding,” Carter said. “So this is going to allow Florida homeowners to continue to obtain free home inspections and to obtain grants that will assist them in being able to continue to harden their homes and mitigate their homes against potential hurricane damage.” 

The Governor’s budget has to be approved by both the House and Senate before funds are appropriated for the program. That final budget comes at the end of the legislative sessions, which is expected to wrap up within the next month or two. 

If approved, the new funds will kick in at the beginning of the next fiscal year, which is July 1. 

Copyright 2024 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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