AFFORDABLE HO U S
M.E. Rinker, Sr., School of Building Construction College of Design, Construction & Planning PO Box 115703,
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-5703 TEL: (352) 273-1192 SUNCOM: 622-7697 FAX: (352) 392-4364
Volume XVI, Number 4
The 2006 hurricane season is upon us! High winds, lots of rain,falling trees, and flying
debris are among the hazards we have to think about and take action in order to protect
our homes and families from harm. In order to help Floridians take such action, the 2006
Legislature passed and Governor Bush signed into law a bill that established the Florida
Comprehensive Hurricane Damage Mitigation Program. The key elements of the program
are obtaining a free inspection of your home by a trained inspector; applying for grant money
to improve the wind resistance of your home; and taking action to hire a licensed contractor
to perform the work.
Presented below is a description of the Florida Comprehensive Hurricane Damage
Copeesv Hurcn Damage Miiato Program
against hurricanes and to reduce hurricane damage
exposure in our state. The program offers free home
inspections by specially qualified wind-resistance
inspectors to eligible homeowners. You must apply
to the Department of Financial Services and be
approved in order to receive the free inspection.
After the inspection has been completed, you may
apply for a grant to assist in paying for the home
improvements that will make your home more
hurricane resistant. However, requesting or obtaining
an inspection does not guarantee nor automatically
qualify you for a grant. Also, you are not obligated to
make any of the home improvements indicated in the
A Floridian is eligible if their primary residence is a
single-family, "site-built" home and
* it has a valid homestead exemption, and
* the home has an insured value of less than
All owners of units in a multi-family residential
building must agree to participate in the program for
the building to be eligible for free inspections, and
* must have a valid homestead exemption, and
* each unit must have an insured value of less
Properties not eligible for free home inspections
are: Mobile homes or manufactured homes,
Second homes, Rental properties, Apartments, and
Information will be available in August 2006 to
inform Floridians when and how they can begin to
apply for free inspections. Qualified homeowners
will be given the option to apply for a free inspection,
including an on-line application that homeowners
may fill out and submit electronically or by mail.
Floridians who do not have internet access will be
able to call the Florida Department of Financial
Services' toll-free consumer helpline at
1-800-342-2762 to request that an application
be mailed to them.
When your application is approved, the Department
of Financial Services will notify you who will be
available to perform the inspection. The new law
requires the Department to assemble a group of
qualified inspectors who have undergone background
checks, have verified inspection experience, and have
received specialized training in strengthening homes
The new law specifies that the inspection report must:
1. Outline what eligible improvements may be
made to your home to increase resistance to
hurricane wind damage.
2. Provide a range of how much each improve-
ment would cost to do.
3. Explain what insurance discounts may be
available for each improvement.
4. Offer a hurricane resistance rating scale that
shows the home's current ability, and future
ability with improvements, to withstand hur-
Obtaining a free inspection does not obligate you to
make any repairs or upgrades to your residence.
Under the new law, the Florida Comprehensive
Hurricane Damage Mitigation Program may award
grant monies to non-profit organizations that have
programs in place to help homeowners strengthen
their homes against natural disasters. Homeowners
assisted through non-profit organizations will be
subject to the same eligibility requirements as
A grant of up to $5,000 is available to qualified
homeowners but a dollar-for-dollar match would
be required by either the non-profit organization or
the homeowner participating through the non-profit
organization's program. However, a grant of up to
$5,000 is available to a low-income homeowner with
no match required.
* If the recommended improvements you have
done cost $3,000, the state would pay $1,500
and you would pay $1,500.
* If the recommended improvements you
have done cost $20,000, the state would pay
$5,000 and you would pay the other $15,000.
* Low-income homeowners will be eligible
for $5,000 grants with no match required.
Matching grants will also be available to
local governments and non-profit entities for
projects that will reduce hurricane damage to
The home improvements that will be considered
by the inspectors and for which grant money may
be awarded must be used for wind-resistance
improvements in seven specific categories, as
1. Improving the strength of your roof deck at-
tachment. For example, if your roof covering
consists of shingles nailed to plywood sheets,
the inspection may reveal that the plywood
sheets are not adequately nailed to your roof
trusses and that additional nails and/or longer
nails need to be added to prevent the ply-
wood from being blown off in a hurricane.
2. Creating a secondary water barrier to prevent
water intrusion. For example, using strips of
"peel and stick-on" material that will cover
the joints between the plywood sheets on
your roof to reduce leakage until repairs
can be made if a hurricane blows your roof
3. Improving the survivability of your roof cov-
ering. For example, upgrading to thicker and
stronger hurricane-resistant roof shingles,
attached with properly sized and properly
applied roofing nails, to reduce the suscepti-
bility of your roof shingles to blowing off in
4. Bracing gable-ends in your roof framing.
This is usually done inside your attic to
decrease chances that your roof will collapse
under hurricane-force wind loads.
5. Reinforcing roof-to-wall connections. For
example, installing metal tie-down straps that
attach roof rafters to wall studs to decrease
chances that all or a portion of your roof will
simply lift off your house during a hurricane.
6. Upgrading exterior wall opening protections.
For example, installing hurricane-rated win-
7. Upgrading exterior doors. For example,
replacing a standard garage door with a hur-
ricane-rated garage door.
For additional information about the Comprehensive
Hurricane Damage Mitigation Program please visit
the following Internet web site:
Affordable Housing ISSUES is prepared bi-monthly by the Shimberg Center for Affordable Housing for the purpose
of discussing contemporary issues facing affordable housing providers. Reproduction of this newsletter is both permitted and
encouraged. Comments or questions regarding the content are welcome and should be addressed to Robert C. Stroh, Director.
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