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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Ross wants to extend My Safe Florida Homes



Rep. Dennis Ross wrote Gov. Charlie Crist a letter saying he's disappointed to see the end of the My Safe Florida Home Program. The inspections help consumers get discounts on their property insurance bills and it also helped 35,000 get small grants to harden their homes.

CFO Alex Sink had asked the Legislature to extend funding for the My Safe Florida Home program to serve more homeowners during the last session. See Ross' letter below.

The Honorable Charlie Crist
State of Florida
PL 05 The Capital
Tallahassee, Florida 32399

Dear Governor Crist:

As the sponsor of the legislation which created the My Safe Florida Home Program, I was greatly disappointed by the recent announcement that the program is no longer accepting new applications. The My Safe Florida Home Program has achieved marked success and surpassed expectations by achieving its goals of approving 400,000 homeowners for free wind inspections and 35,000 homeowners for mitigation grants a year ahead of schedule. Based on this success, we should be looking for ways to maintain the program, not ending it.

The My Safe Florida Home Program was established in SB 1980 during the 2006 Legislative Session. Since its inception, the program has become an invaluable resource to Floridians. The numbers speak for themselves. Floridians want to know how they can protect themselves from future storms and this program provides a means for them to do so. Because of the My Safe Florida Home Program, homeowners have been able to fortify their homes against hurricane damage and in many instances, have received a reduction in their homeowners’ insurance premium.

When it comes to hurricane preparedness, the My Safe Florida Home Program is the best investment our state can make. The hardening of our homes to withstand hurricane force winds is our best defense against these annual storms. This Session, the Legislature continued its commitment to hurricane mitigation by passing legislation which expands the program to include partnerships for no interest loans with the private sector. While we were unable to provide continued funding for the program this year, it was my sincere hope that we would resume funding next Session.

Without the My Safe Florida Home Program, many mitigation efforts will cease and our citizens will be left vulnerable. As the sponsor of the program, I implore you to continue funding the My Safe Florida Home Program. Whether it is through state funding, private partnerships, or other means, we must continue with our efforts. We have come too far and achieved too many victories to turn back now. We must ensure that our residents are prepared for the next big storm.

Please let me know how I can be of assistance to you in assuring the continuation of the My Safe Florida Home Program.

Yours very truly,

Dennis A. Ross

Cc: Members of the Florida Legislature

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:28am]


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