Fort Lauderdale, FL – As an organization that advocates strongly for mitigation and energy savings programs, the Florida Association for Insurance Reform (FAIR) welcomes the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) announcement of guidance for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs. The broad-reaching initiative opens the door for millions of homeowners in Florida and countrywide to finance improvements that strengthen their homes and make them more energy efficient.
The FHA guidance, issued on July 20, states that homeowners who use PACE financing and meet stipulated requirements will be eligible for FHA-insured mortgage financing. It emphasizes: “there are no terms or conditions that limit the transfer of the property to a new homeowner.”
Jay Neal, FAIR’s President and CEO, commented, “This is a step in the right direction towards building self-sufficient community resilience. Homeowners will reap the most benefit as their properties can be retrofitted to remain resilient in the face of severe weather, they will also see lowered energy costs, and the improvements will result in reduced property and flood insurance premiums.”
FAIR is particularly encouraged that the FHA guidance will result in more low- and mid-income property owners being able to improve their properties. The long-term overall effect this will have on entire communities includes improving their economic wellbeing and capacity to bounce back from severe weather situations, reduced reliance on community resources and emergency management, and overall community safety.
Within Florida, property owners in more than 18 different counties and 50 cities already have access to PACE and have been using the innovative financing program to make their homes storm-ready with wind-resistant windows and doors, and by upgrading their roofs. Property owners are also using PACE to install solar systems that generate alternative sources of electricity, to upgrade lighting and water fixtures, and to install more efficient HVAC systems, among other qualified improvements. PACE pays for up to 100% of project costs and has a repayment schedule of up to 25 years through an assessment added to the property’s tax bill. PACE financing stays with the property upon sale. The PACE program is being used by state and local governments in 18 states to create jobs, promote economic development and protect the environment.
*Property Assessed Clean Energy