Hey, Florida Homeowners!

The My Safe Florida Home Program
is Back To help you get readier
for hurricanes and save money!

My Safe Florida Home Program Update

Thanks to the Governor, CFO, and Florida Legislature, the My Safe Florida Home program has been an amazing success. Since 2022, the home hardening program has conducted 106,000 home inspections and approved 38,500 grant applications, helping Floridians harden their homes against storms and save up to $1,000 on insurance premiums. To date, a total of nearly $634 million has been appropriated to conduct home-hardening efforts in the state!

With the popularity of the program, new funding for initial inspections has been exhausted. As a result, only the initial inspection applications process has been paused. The remaining funds will be utilized for home hardening grants and final inspections. If your home has already been inspected, you may apply for a grant based on the timeline outlined by the Legislature. The My Safe Florida Home program remains fully operational for grant applicants who have completed their initial inspection.

Hurricanes are a fact of life in Florida, and if you have the ability to harden your home without the use of grant funding, please do so immediately! Home hardening improvements are the best way to protect your home from storms and save on insurance.

  • The My Safe Florida Home Condo Pilot program was appropriated $30 million and is expected to launch in Fall 2024. Click here for more information.
  • Click here to stay tuned for more information on future funding timelines.
  • Click here for answers to additional frequently asked questions about recent changes.

MY SAFE FLORIDA HOME VIDEOS

Two-Step Application Process

Application Categories & Dates

THE 3 KEY STEPS TO THE PROGRAM

1. INSPECT

Having a quality wind-mitigation inspection done to your home is the first step towards making it stronger to withstand hurricanes and saving you money on your home insurance.

The inspection report you will receive will provide you with two key benefits:

  • Give you the opportunity to share your report with your insurance carrier to make sure you’re currently receiving all available discounts on the hurricane portion of your home insurance premium.
  • Be your roadmap to retrofitting your home with the proper improvements to help strengthen it against hurricanes and gain any available discounts on the hurricane portion of your home insurance premium.

2. STRENGTHEN

Using the recommendations contained in your inspection report is the next step towards strengthening your home against hurricanes through the following home improvements:

Roofs & Structure

  • Strengthen Roof to Deck Attachments
  • Reinforce Roof-to-Wall Connections
  • Install Secondary Water Barrier for Roof

Opening Protection

  • Window Upgrades
  • Exterior Door Upgrades
    (including Garage Doors)

Attention Florida Homeowners:

Always be sure to use a licensed contractor registered with the State of Florida for any improvement work you decide on completing, and we recommend getting bids from at least three contractors so you can compare pricing and choose the best option to suit your needs.

3. SAVE

Strengthening your home against hurricanes through proper improvements is a proven path to gain discounts on the hurricane portion of your home insurance premium.

Contact your insurance agent or carrier to:

  • Inform them about the improvements you have made in order to gain available discounts on your home insurance premium.
  • Speak with them about any other options available for you to save money.
  • Wind Upgrades provide discounts by Law.

IMPORTANT PROGRAM CHANGES

PROGRAM FAQS

When do the new program changes take affect?

New Program Changes Effective July 1, 2024

Beginning July 1, 2024, the MSFH program will re-open our portal for homeowners.  New funding for the program will be tied to new prioritization requirements as enacted by the Legislature. Applications will be accepted and prioritized in 15-day increments.

Grant Group 1 – Low-income homeowners age 60+ – July 1 – July 15th

Grant Group 2 – Low-income homeowners of any age – July 16th – 30th

Grant Group 3 – Moderate-income homeowners age 60+ – July 31st – August 14th

Grant Group 4 – Moderate-income homeowners of any age – August 15th – 30th

Grant Group 5 – All other eligible Florida homeowners – August 31st

Once all funds are awarded, the portal will close and will not accept any additional applications until additional funding is provided.

If I am already approved for a grant do the changes coming July 1 affect me?

No, if you have received notification that your grant application was approved and you were directed to obtain a contractor, you may continue to proceed with your project.

 

If I received my initial inspection but was unable to submit a grant application before the portal closed, do the new rules effective July 1st apply to me?

Yes, all grant applications submitted after July 1st are prioritized as follows:

  • Low-income homeowners age 60+ – July 1 – July 15th
  • Low-income homeowners of any age – July 16th – 30th
  • Moderate-income homeowners age 60+ – July 31st – August 14th
  • Moderate-income homeowners of any age – August 15th – 30th
  • All other eligible Florida homeowners – August 31st
 

I have had a home inspection, but I can’t complete my grant application, what happens now?

On July 1st, the portal will be re-opened with new prioritization criteria, see question above, “Upcoming law changes July 1, 2024.”

If I have submitted a grant application, can I begin construction on my home while awaiting additional grant funds to be available?

No.  Do not begin any reimbursable construction PRIOR to receiving your official grant approval notice.

What is the My Safe Florida Home Program?

The My Safe Florida Home Program was re-enacted during the most recent Special Session of the Florida Legislature. The program consists of two primary components:

  1. Wind Mitigation Home Inspections.  All owners of site-built, single-family, residential homes or townhouses 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 damages. 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.
  2. Wind Mitigation Grants for home retrofitting construction for improvements identified on the free wind mitigation inspection.

Who is eligible to receive a hurricane mitigation inspection?

An owner of a site-built, single-family, residential house or townhouse may apply for and receive an inspection without any further obligation to apply for a grant.

How much can I receive through the grant process?

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.  Low income grants have been increased from $5,000 to $10,000. The grants are not considered taxable income. 

What types of mitigation projects will be considered for homeowners?

The Legislature has authorized DFS to provide a matching grants 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.  Low income grants have been increased from $5,000 to $10,000. identified in their wind mitigation inspection report. Only weaknesses identified in that report are eligible for reimbursement using the grant funds.

Can I use my own inspector?

No. Once you have applied and been approved for your free wind-mitigation inspection, a licensed inspector, contracted by the program will be assigned to you to complete inspections of your home. 

Can I choose my own contractor to complete the work on my house?

Yes. As of July 1, 2024, the My Safe Florida Home Program is allowing homeowners to choose any Certified Florida State contractor to make reimbursable upgrades to their homes.

To be eligible to make any recommended home-hardening improvements for reimbursement, designated Contractors must:

  1. Be licensed and certified with the state of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation as:
    • General Contractor
    • Building Contractor
    • Residential Contractor
    • Specialty Contractor
    • Roofing Contractor

What happens after I receive my inspection?

Your inspection report is uploaded in the system.  Once reviewed and processed, you receive an email notification that you can now go back to your portal account to open and submit your grant application if you choose.

How do I calculate my reimbursement amount?

According to Florida Statute 215.5586, 2(b), “All grants must be matched on the basis of $1 provided by the applicant for $2 provided by the state up to a maximum state contribution of $10,000 toward the actual cost of the mitigation project.” In other words, the homeowner must contribute funds equal to 1/3 of the cost of the project toward the project to be reimbursed for the remaining 2/3’s up to a maximum state contribution of $10,000.

For example, if an applicant were to pay $15,000 for new impact-rated windows, their required contribution would be $5,000, and the state’s contribution would be equal to the maximum grant amount of $10,000. If the windows cost $9,000, the applicant would pay $3,000 and would receive a state-matched Reimbursement of $6,000. If the windows cost more than $15,000, the applicant would still only receive $10,000, as that is the maximum reimbursement amount.

What happens after I complete my construction on my grant project?

When you and your contractor agree your project is completed and they have all their local permits closed, you need to go into your portal account and request you final inspection from the program.  Our inspector will contact you to confirm a time.  They will complete a FINAL INSPECTION REPORT.  You submit this report is submitted to your insurance company and request your insurance discount.  You need to do this to complete your reimbursement process.  This step DOES NOT apply to low income grants.

How do I make sure my project is complete?

Please note that the program assumes no responsibility for the performance of the contractor you select and work with. It will now be up to every MSFH Grantee/homeowner to find and manage their own eligible contractor and relationship. The program and FL Dept. of Financial Services is not responsible for or involved in any way with the grantee’s contractor selection and/or the grantee construction and payment process.

Homeowners can find all licensed Florida Contractors at the Florida Department of Business Professional Regulation website here.

What happens if I have a problem with my contractor?

The My Safe Florida Home Program (DFS) is not responsible for work performed by the certified independent Florida contractors selected by the grantee/homeowner. My Safe Florida Home Program does not provide any warranties or guarantees, express or implied, regarding the work performed by grantee selected contractors. Any disputes regarding work performed by contractors must be resolved between the homeowner/client and the contractor. By participating in the My Safe Florida Home Program, the homeowner/grant recipient agrees to hold My Safe Florida Home Program (DFS) harmless and release the program from any and all liability related to the work of the contractors they select for work.

MY SAFE FLORIDA HOME PROGRAM RESOURCES

These are all excellent program resources that you should consider
downloading for future use and printing for reference.

Important Program Changes

Get the very latest updates and program changes

Homeowner’s Guide

The homeowner’s guide to navigating the My Safe Florida Home Program

Authorized Improvements Guide

Explanation of the specific upgrades covered for reimbursement by the My Safe Florida Home Program

Contractors

Tips & suggestions when choosing and working with contractors

Reimbursement Process

Step by step guide for grantee reimbursement

How You Save on Your Insurance

Explanations of how and why you can save money on your homeowners policy in Florida

Retrofitting Older Homes

Understanding why retrofitting older homes in Florida is important

Portal

MSFH portal information