$10K Grants Available to Louisiana Homeowners
Lafayette, LA (KPEL News)-- Louisiana Citizens Fair Plan policyholders may be eligible for a grant of up to $10,000 under the Louisiana Fortify Homes Program (LFHP). The program is designed to help homeowners repair or replace their roofs to withstand hurricane-force winds, as defined by the standards set by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety.
Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says a stronger, more durable roof is only one benefit for grantees.
“Grant recipients can also take advantage of our new law requiring insurers to provide a premium discount to policyholders with FORTIFIED roofs,” said Donelon.
Homeowners who are interested and qualify must first create a profile in the LFHP system and can do so at www.ldi.la.gov/fortifyhomes.
The LFHP has enough money to fund 3,000 grants. The first half will be available to Louisiana Citizens policyholders because, Donelon says, their premiums are highest. He says improving their homes may allow them to obtain coverage through another provider, lowering the burden on the state's insurer of last resort, which benefits everyone in Louisiana.
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.
According to the Louisiana Department of Insurance, 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 pay all costs for the roof upgrade that exceed the grant amount.
The grant window opens on October 2nd, and homeowners must have an account to log in to apply. 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.
Homeowners who apply for a first-round grant without having insurance coverage through Citizens will be removed from the offering. Grants will be opened to all homeowners later this year.