Hurricane home fortification program ending listen07/03/08 SeÃ¡n Kinane
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Today in Pinellas Park, Floridaâ€™s Chief Financial Officer and a state senator announced that a program that helps Floridaâ€™s residents to fortify their homes against hurricanes is coming to an end. CFO Alex Sink and Sen. Charlie Justice were touting the My Safe Florida Home Program and asking for people to support its continuation.
Sink oversees the Florida Department of Financial Services, which includes the My Safe Florida Home program. She said the program is so popular that there are only 15,000 free inspections left, even though it was not scheduled to end until next June.
Justice is a state senator representing District 16, which includes parts of Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. He said the 2-year-old program helped 30,000 people in those two counties and more than 400,000 homeowners statewide.
Sink said the programhas provided 35,000 matching grants for homeowners to harden their homes to better withstand hurricanes. The $250-million program for Florida residents to strengthen their homes was beneficial for two reasons, Sink said.
Sink said there were 8,000 applications for the free inspections last week alone and she anticipates that all remaining slots will be gone by this weekend. She said this on the front porch of the home of Joseph Selong, who spent $15,000 dollars on hurricane-proof windows, but got a considerable portion of that from the My Safe Florida Home program.
Justice said he hopes Floridians will demand that funding for the program continue.
Sink said she hopes the Legislature will add funding so that the inspections part of My Safe Florida Home can continue.
Photo by SeÃ¡n Kinane/WMNF