- Grants up to $10,000 to owners of existing homes to upgrade them to the FORTIFIED Home™ standard.
- There is no income limit nor income tests to qualify. Only your home must meet the minimum requirements.
- Homeowners must complete an application and have an evaluation completed by an approved FORTIFIED Evaluator
- Homeowners must work with an approved contractors to complete the roofing or retrofit mitigation work on their home
- Open to all residents of Mobile and Baldwin Counties in Alabama.
- Can be combined with other financing solutions, such as MyStrongHome
- Strengthen Alabama Homes is a legislatively established grant program managed by the Alabama Department of Insurance.
- Issues grants to retrofit homes to resist damage from Hurricanes and high winds using the FORTIFIED standard.
- The program is designed to lower insurance rates in Alabama while making communities resilient to storm damage.
- The grant program is funded by increased licensing fees for insurers who do business in the State, not taxpayer money, and is supported by the Federal Home Loan Bank and the Alabama Insurance Underwriters Association (AIUA).
- Contact us if you have any questions
Tips for applying to the Strengthen Alabama Homes grant
By Graham Green, Outreach and Operations Manager
To apply to the groundbreaking Strengthen Alabama Homes grant program, go to strengthenalabamahomes.com. Once there, click the login link on the top right on a desktop computer or the last link on mobile devices. Then click the homeowner signup link and follow the steps provided to fill in your information, upload documents (current taxes and homeowners insurance, including wind and flood insurance if applicable) to get started. You can also find additional, in-depth information about the program on their website.
The next, and the most crucial, step will be choosing a FORTIFIED Evaluator. NOTE - they must be approved and be part of the grant program. There is an upfront charge for this service, and each Evaluator in the grant program charge different rates and have different pricing models for the "pre-evaluation" and full evaluation costs. This fee may be the only out of pocket expense you pay unless the roofing costs exceed the amount of your grant award. We recommend calling several Evaluators and choosing the one you’d like to work with during your project.
Once you choose an Evaluator, they will come out and inspect your home to create a current conditions report. This report will provide you valuable information about your home and detailed data about the steps needed to get your home FORTIFIED. This report also assists the contractors as they bid on the work.
After your current conditions report has been uploaded into the grant system, you will be prompted to choose three Strengthen Alabama Homes contractors to bid on the work needed to earn your home the FORTIFIED designation of your choosing. NOTE - you cannot use contractors outside of the grant program. After selecting your three contractors, you will schedule times for them to come out and bid on the work for your home. Once all three completed proposals are submitted into the grant system, you will be able to see the costs each contractor proposes, the amount of the grant you are awarded (up to $10,000) and finally choose the contractor you wish to work with.
We recommend weighing your options at this point, before choosing your contractor. Calculate the costs of the initial work to bring your home up to the FORTIFIED Bronze or Silver standard vs. the money you may save over time on your insurance. Get at least 3-5 insurance quotes - Shop Your Insurance, learn about the insurance discounts for Alabama, and remember a FORTIFIED designation can be renewed every five years. Also, consider how financing and associated fees, if you choose to pursue any, may impact your wallet. A new roof is one of the largest investments most people make into their home. By using the grant program, you know the contractors and evaluators are vetted, trained, reputable and have the proper licensing, insurance and have pulled the correct permits. Now you have to make sure you're getting the best bang for your buck.
We have created an insurance shopper’s guide to help Alabama homeowners understand their insurance and get the best coverage and value for their budget. It’s free, and we recommend downloading it when you shop for your insurance.
Once you choose your contractor, the work must begin within six months. Any costs above the grant amount you're awarded will be your responsibility, and those additional costs and how they are paid will be decided between you and your contractor. The contractor will receive the grant payment directly from the State of Alabama once the work is complete and you provide proof of wind insurance.
As just mentioned, you must secure wind insurance for your home and provide proof of coverage to Strengthen Alabama Homes before your grant is paid. You will also be required to complete a survey.
Remember, the lowest cost insurance does not equal the best value, make sure you have the best coverage you can afford. When the work is done, the contractor will be paid. When you have your FORTIFIED designation in hand (it's a certificate), take a copy to your insurance agent to prove your home is FORTIFIED. (I might even frame it myself and show it off to house guests, what a great conversation starter!).
Contact us if you would like more information on these topics.