ICYMI: Governor Ron DeSantis Highlights Investments in Strengthening and Fortifying Florida

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In Case You Missed It: Governor Ron DeSantis Highlights Investments in Strengthening and Fortifying Florida

REDINGTON SHORES, Fla.— Today, Governor Ron DeSantis highlighted Florida’s investments to strengthen the state’s defenses against hurricanes through infrastructure improvements, beach fortification and support for homeowners.

The Governor highlighted infrastructure funding through the Resilient Florida Grant Program which provides grants to local communities to strengthen our coastal and inland communities against the impacts of flooding. Governor DeSantis also signed Senate Bill 7028 to continue funding the My Safe Florida Home Program, providing $200 million for the program in the upcoming fiscal year, and signed House Bill 1029 to establish the My Safe Florida Condominium Pilot Program. This new pilot program will provide condominium associations with funds to harden their condo infrastructure. Additionally, Governor DeSantis announced his commitment to signing $50 million to support beach nourishment projects.

“Strong infrastructure is the best way to protect against the impacts of a future hurricane,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “We are making investments that strengthen our state, help homeowners strengthen their homes, and increase our coastal protection against a storm.”

“Governor DeSantis has consistently fought to make Florida's communities more resilient and secured more funding than any governor before him,” said Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Shawn Hamilton. “As a result of these efforts, Florida is better positioned than ever to address the state’s resilience challenges.”

“Thanks to Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature, the My Safe Florida Home Program will receive another round of $200 million in funding, beginning July 1, 2024," said Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. "The new funding will provide grants for nearly 20,000 Floridians with special priority going to help Florida’s seniors and low-income homeowners first. There is no better time than right now to harden your home against storms and cut your homeowners insurance costs. Homeowners who completed the program reported an average savings of roughly $1,000 on their insurance premiums. Another hurricane season is fast approaching and unfortunately, Mother Nature loves our state and it’s not if but when a major storm will take aim at Florida. Don’t wait to protect your biggest investment from storms – your home.”

“Under Governor DeSantis, the State of Florida has transformed itself into a national and global leader in flood mitigation and resilience,” said Florida’s Chief Resilience Officer Dr. Wes Brooks. “With billions being invested statewide in infrastructure adaptation and nature-based solutions, enhanced strategic coordination among state agencies, water management districts, and local governments, and ongoing efforts to develop and maintain a world-class flood data and modeling repository and technical center through the Florida Flood Hub, our state has never been more committed to securing thriving futures for all of its inland and coastal communities.”

To support infrastructure improvements, the Governor highlighted $100 million in funding for the Resilient Florida Program appropriated in Senate Bill 1638, which was signed earlier this month. The program was established in 2021 to harden coastal infrastructure and help communities prepare for the impacts of flooding and hurricanes through targeted funding and directives that enhance efforts to protect our inland waterways, coastlines, shores, and coral reefs, all of which serve as invaluable defenses against flooding. With funding for the upcoming year, Florida has invested a total of $1.8 billion through the Resilient Florida Program, awarding more than 320 grants for comprehensive vulnerability assessments and 351 resilience projects. Additionally, since 2019, the Florida Department of Transportation work program has supported over $3.8 billion to reconstruct bridges to better withstand winds and over $1.1 billion to support our coastal seaports.

To support Florida homeowners, the Governor signed Senate Bill 7028, providing an additional $200 million towards the program which will fund more than 18,000 mitigation grants for homeowners. The My Safe Florida Home Program was re-established in 2022. The program provides homeowners with free wind mitigation inspections and matching grants to homeowners to help reduce their insurance premiums and strengthen their homes against future wind damage. The Governor also signed House Bill 1029, which creates the My Safe Florida Condominium Pilot Program. The Fiscal Year 2024-2025 budget provides $30 million for the pilot program to help condo associations harden their condo infrastructure.

To continue to fortify our beaches, Governor DeSantis also announced his commitment to signing $50 million in the Fiscal Year 2024-2025 budget to support beach nourishment projects. Florida’s coastlines are its first defense against a storm and ensuring that the state’s beaches are strong is important to protect our coastal infrastructure. With this investment, Florida will have invested over $550 million in dedicated funds to beach nourishment since 2019.