Miami, FL -- The tornadoes and severe storms that wreaked havoc in Miami-Dade County on March 27 2003, demonstrated the value of hurricane shutters. In a high-wind event, the coverings can make the difference between a house that sustains minimal damage and one that's left unlivable, and between personal belongings that stay intact and those blown in all directions.
To help county residents prepare for damaging winds, several programs offer financial assistance that may be used for purchasing and installing hurricane shutters. Some may also provide aid for strengthening roofs and for hurricane clips.
The Community Action Agency, 305-438-8604, administers the Project Impact Residential Shuttering Program, which focuses on installing shutters for qualified low-income, elderly homeowners.
The Miami-Dade Housing Agency, 305-250-5238, coordinates two programs:
- The Single Family Loan Rehabilitation Program loans money for houses that need weather protection, storm mitigation and home repairs.
- The Hurricane Shutter Program offers loans specifically for the installation of shutters, not to exceed $3,000 per house.
Fannie Mae is another source of funds for shutters. Homeowners may qualify for unsecured consumer installment loans up to $20,000 for residential mitigation, including installation of hurricane shutters and other disaster-prevention measures. Information is available by calling Crown Bank at 888-703-0478 or Fannie Mae at 800-732-6643 (800-7FANNIE).
Those who live in the areas affected by the March 27 tornadoes and severe storms may be eligible for additional programs. The state's Residential Construction Mitigation Program may help pay for repairs to roofs, windows, doors, and hurricane clips and shutters. The program is administered by the Community Action Agency, mentioned above.
For those impacted by the March 27 disaster, funds for hurricane shutters may be available through programs of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 800-621-3362, or the U.S. Small Business Administration, 800-359-2227.
Qualifications for the programs mentioned above vary and may include income and age restrictions.