Achieving Resilience with the Louisiana Fortify Homes Program
The Louisiana Fortified Home Program (LFHP) stands as a giant leap forward for resilience and safety against many types of natural disaster. The program’s upcoming application process, set to commence in October, heralds a transformative initiative for residents. Louisiana homeowners may apply for grants to fortify their homes against potential threats from hail and windstorms.
Empowering Homes with FORTIFIED™ Engineering Standards
At the heart of this endeavor is FORTIFIED™, a painstaking creation of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS). This pioneering innovation has produced meticulous engineering and building standards, tailor-made to safeguard both existing and new homes against the relentless onslaught of catastrophic weather events, ranging from hurricanes to high winds and hailstorms. The comprehensive program encompasses an array of wind-resistant features that reinforce every facet of a home’s structure, from its protective roof down to its solid foundation. These enhancements are said to have the potential to increase a homes value by an impressive 7-9%, all the while affording substantial reductions in insurance costs. Please note that while FORTIFIED™ standards apply to the whole structure, the Louisiana grant program is strictly limited to reinforcement of the roof.
The Louisiana Fortified Home Program facilitates these upgrades through its $30 million grant program. Eligible homeowners who gain approval stand to benefit from grants of up to $10,000 to fortify their roofs. The distribution of these grants directly to contractors upon the successful completion of their work ensures swift and seamless progress.
Grants, unlike loans, do not require repayment. They come from governmental bodies or non-profit organizations, offering a distinct pathway to financial assistance. Marked by their non-repayable nature, specific application protocols, guidelines dictating fund utilization, and a structured reporting process, grants represent a powerful tool for positive change.
Navigating the Application Process
Prospective recipients of state grants begin by completing a comprehensive application form. This document outlines their funding requirements, property particulars, ownership verification, and often a comprehensive project plan. Following submission, applications undergo evaluation, culminating in approvals that lay the groundwork for contractual arrangements, detailing the terms of grant allocation and utilization.
From Planning to the Retrofit Phase
This stage commences according to an agreed upon timeline lasting from days or weeks to months based on the scope and magnitude of the project.
Final Steps Post Construction
Most state grant programs require an inspection post construction phase led by professionals certifying that all work adheres to program stipulations; following satisfactory assessment final documentation is sent to conclude the project.
Fund Dispersal Phase
After contractors have completed the retrofit, a qualified evaluator must inspect the work that has been done. After submitting their approval of the work done, payment will be made directly to the contractor.
The Eligibility Criteria
Homeowners in their main residences with valid wind and flood insurance are eligible. Flood insurance is mandatory if the home is located in Special Flood Hazard Areas. New builds, condos, and mobile homes are excluded, however duplexes may qualify if the owner lives there and has a homestead exemption.
Homes must meet the FORTIFIED™ standards for maintenance. A qualified Evaluator must determine this through an onsite inspection. These evaluations usually cost between $300-500 and the homeowner will be responsible for payment.
To avoid any inconveniences it’s advisable that homeowners check contractor availability prior submitting request for evaluation–as initiating any works before securing grant approval may result in disqualification.
To secure grant funding it’s imperative that completed projects fulfil FORTIFIED™ Roof standards—with homeowners responsible for any additional costs surpassing the grants amount.
The FORTIFIED™ Standards & Benefits
These include strengthened edges using specific materials such as wider drip edge—with metal strip at roof edge allowing water runoff without soaking building underside—and attached starter strip which prevents wind lifting up remaining shingle rows; sealed roof deck where waterproof barrier over wooden structure prevents leakages—even if top coverings ripped off during severe weather; enhanced attachment where ring-shank nails replace common smooth ones improving grip reducing slipping chances during high winds hence strengthening roof; Impact-resistant shingles offering enhanced protection against hail—these stronger roof coverings can withstand hailstones up to two inches in diameter tremendously boosting your homes resilience against adverse weather. A REALTOR can help you leverage these improvements to maximize your home’s value.
Anticipated Program Launch Date
The grant program is set to accept applications in October 2023, as confirmed by Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon on June 14. Contractors and Evaluators may apply for enrollment now. All parties should follow this link to apply to the Louisiana Fortify Homes Program.