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Article originally posted on LDI News Release
Commissioner Jim Donelon announced today that the Louisiana Fortify Homes Program (LFHP) will open its first round of grants at noon on October 2. Homeowners must have a policy with Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation to apply for one of 500 grants available in the first round. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
The program will provide grants of up to $10,000 for homeowners to repair or replace their roofs to the FORTIFIED Roof™ standard of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS). More information is available at www.ldi.la.gov/fortifyhomes. Those interested in the program are encouraged to review eligibility information and frequently asked questions on the website to determine whether their home meets the requirements for the program.
Homeowners are required to create a profile in the LFHP system before applying for a grant and may do so by visiting www.ldi.la.gov/fortifyhomes beginning September 13. LFHP staff urge homeowners who are interested in the program to create a profile before the grant application period opens on October 2, as homeowners will need to log in to their profile before applying. LFHP staff expect all available grants to be awarded quickly, so eligible homeowners should attempt to apply as quickly as possible once the application window goes live at noon.
“The best way we can prepare for hurricanes and other severe weather is to use stronger materials and construction methods when building and repairing our homes,” said Commissioner Donelon. “Grant recipients can also take advantage of our new law requiring insurers to provide a premium discount to policyholders with FORTIFIED roofs.”
The LFHP currently has enough funding to award approximately 3,000 grants. The first half of those grants will be limited to Citizens policyholders. The remaining grants will be available to all eligible homeowners across the state.
“Limiting the approximately 1,500 grants to Louisiana Citizens will provide relief to those policyholders who are paying the highest premiums and will help depopulate Citizens, which is in the best interest of all property insurance policyholders in Louisiana,” said Commissioner Donelon.
The grant will cover the cost of reinforcing a roof using methods that meet or exceed the FORTIFIED Roof™ standard, which includes strengthening a building against severe storms, high winds and wind driven rain. Homeowners must meet eligibility requirements and pay all costs for the roof upgrade including permits, inspections and construction costs beyond the amount of the grant.
- Homeowners are only eligible for their primary residence and must verify they have a homestead exemption on the property during the application process.
- Homeowners must provide proof of an active residential insurance policy with wind coverage. If they live in a Special Flood Hazard Area as designated by FEMA, they must also provide proof of a flood insurance policy. Contact your agent if you are unsure whether you have these coverages.
- New construction homes, condominiums and mobile homes do not qualify.
- Homes on a foundation constructed of unrestrained stacked masonry or stone (dry-stack foundation) are not eligible without an approved retrofit of the foundation.
- Homes must be in good repair as determined by a FORTIFIED™ Evaluator. Homeowners are responsible for paying the evaluation fee, which is typically between $300 and $500.
- Grant funds are paid directly to contractors. Homeowners are financially responsible for all costs beyond the full grant amount. Grant funding is limited to construction costs.
- These and all other eligibility requirements and program details may be reviewed at www.ldi.la.gov/fortifyhomes.
About the Louisiana Department of Insurance: The Louisiana Department of Insurance works to improve competition in the state’s insurance market while assisting individuals and businesses with the information and resources they need to be informed consumers of insurance. As a regulator, the LDI enforces the laws that provide a fair and stable marketplace and makes certain that insurers comply with the laws in place to protect policyholders. You can contact the LDI by calling 1-800-259-5300 or visiting www.ldi.la.gov.