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North Lauderdale will use unspent COVID funds to help residents pay for new roofs, hurricane resistant windows

North Lauderdale will use unspent COVID funds to help residents pay for new roofs, hurricane-resista
North Lauderdale will use unspent COVID funds to help residents pay for new roofs, hurricane-resista 01:58

FORT LAUDERDALE - On the final day of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, North Lauderdale residents are about to get some help with renovations to harden their homes against storms in the new year.

On Thursday, City Manager Michael Sargis announced that they were setting up an innovative program, the first of its kind, to give homeowners up to $30,000 for roof replacements, re-roofing, the installation of a secondary water barrier, the installation of hurricane straps, and or the installation of hurricane resistant doors and windows.

A secondary water barrier is a "water resistant roof underlayment layer or product that provides protection to the structure to which it is affixed in the event the primary roof covering is damaged, removed, or penetrated by wind driven rain as the result of hurricane force winds," according to the city's website.

According to Sargis, the grants do not have to be paid back. Funding for the Home Mitigation Program, roughly $22 million will come from excesses in American Rescue Plan funds, also known as the COVID-19 emergency funds.

To qualify, applicants must be North Lauderdale residents and homeowners. They also must be current on their property taxes and not have any code violations.

Sargis told CBS News MIami's Peter D'Oench "If people have a mortgage they have to have insurance. More than 500 people have expressed an interest. After people apply, my evaluators will go out to the homes and condos and make sure people need what they see they need and then contractors will look at the homes and submit quotes to the city. This is a 60-day program but it is also first come, first serve."

Sargis said "It is a great opportunity for residents. North Lauderdale is a working class community and it is a great opportunity for people to get help when they otherwise might not be able to get it."

Homeowner Andy Beepat said he would be applying for a grant.

As he looked at his home, he told D'Oench "I need my roof to get replaced. My roof is 21 years old and I am having issues with the flat part of the roof and the deck. It is starting to show signs of a leaking house. There are signs of leakage in the house and I need to have that sealed."

"It would mean a great deal to me because the roof is one of the biggest things somebody can do to help and it is important to have the good up to date. This is an amazing program to help people who can not otherwise afford it. And I am going to be there at City Hall first thing on Monday morning to apply. I have lived here for 25 years and I want to take care of my home." 

For those wanting to install hurricane-resistant windows and doors, it must be their primary residence. They also must have homeowner's insurance and flood insurance if it is required by their mortgage company. The owner must also be up to date with the mortgage unless they fully own it outright.

Sargis said interested residents can apply for grant funding through the ZoomGrants portal that will be opened on Monday, December 4th at 10 a.m. He said the link for the portal will be on the city's website at the top of the Resident Grant Opportunities page.

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