Alabama Department of Insurance Approves Changes to the Strengthen Alabama Homes Program Regulations Supported by Alabama REALTORS®
November 8, 2018
On November 7, the AAR Public Policy Team attended a meeting of the Alabama Department of Insurance (“the Department”) where Commissioner Jim Ridling approved an amendment to the regulations governing the Strengthen Alabama Homes program. The amendment was supported by the Alabama REALTORS®.
Summary of Changes to SAH Regulations Approved at Department Meeting
At the November 7th meeting, Commissioner Ridling approved an amendment to Section 2 of Insurance Regulation No. 159,[i] the regulation governing requirements for grants through SAH. While most of the changes in the amendment were typographical, the main substantive change was that language in the original rule restricting grant eligibility to residents of Baldwin and Mobile Counties was removed. Thus, the program will now be open to the entire state, effective November 17, 2018.
Alabama REALTORS® supported the change making grants available statewide. SAH grants are a valuable resource for Alabama homeowners to protect their safety and livelihood in the face of severe storms.[ii]
Background on the Strengthen Alabama Homes Program
Administered by the Department of Insurance, the Strengthen Alabama Homes (SAH) program provides grants to Alabama residents for storm mitigation improvements on existing owner-occupied residences. These grants provide financial assistance to homeowners to make enhancements to their houses shielding against severe wind and rain damage. SAH grants cover 100% of the cost of the mitigation efforts, up to $10,000.
An example of some of the types of mitigation activities an SAH grant could cover are seen in this article from Popular Science Magazine regarding a beach home in Mexico Beach, FL that survived the damage from Hurricane Michael.
The AAR Public Policy Team will continue to monitor activities of the Department of Insurance for its impacts on our members and the real estate industry.
[i] Ala. Admin. Code r. 482-1-159-.02(1)(a).