PACE is Valuable Financing for FL Home Safety Upgrades
State Representative Kristin Jacobs stated in the Sun Sentinel, “I encourage local governments across Florida to consider adopting PACE to help more Florida families better protect their homes.”
Hurricanes are continually affecting the residents of Florida. In 1992, Hurricane Andrew destroyed 63,000+ homes and damaged an additional 100,000. In 2004, Hurricane Frances and Jeanne made landfall in Florida. Followed by Hurricane Irma and Mathew, which hit in 2017. These storms brought with them much devastation and destruction. Rep. Jacobs stated, “With Florida being a central and recurring target during hurricane season, it is important we empower Floridians to harden their homes by making sure they have the financial options to do so.”
As Florida residents are increasingly looking to make their homes safer from storms, Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing is becoming a popular option. PACE financing is not based on the property owner’s credit score. Rep. Jacobs mentioned that PACE financing “enables more people to make critical home or property improvements, which may have otherwise been unaffordable through traditional financing, like a credit card or home equity line of credit.”
Home safety upgrades such as wind-resistant roofing, high impact windows, and storm shutters can be difficult to pay out of pocket. PACE helps property owners finance one or multiple home safety upgrades and pay it back annually on their property taxes.
In Florida, 18 counties participate in the PACE program, including Broward. Rep. Jacobs shared, “We have had a great experience with the PACE program in Broward County, so it comes as no surprise that according to the U.S. Department of Energy, as of 2019, over 200,000 homeowners have made $5 billion in energy efficiency and other improvements to their homes through PACE financing.”
PACE financing comes with several consumer safeguards. In Broward County, “PACE providers must provide disclosure forms to all property owners regarding the expected project costs, along with a live-recorded verification call to confirm they understand the terms;” shared Rep. Jacobs. PACE companies assess the property owner’s home equity, and more before they approve financing.
With Florida repeatedly being hit by hurricanes and other storms, the need for property owners to protect their homes is going to grow. Rep. Jacobs encourages local governments across Florida to adopt PACE so more property owners can protect their homes.