NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Thousands of Louisiana homeowners hopped online on Monday, hoping to be approved for one of a thousand grants from the Louisiana Fortify Homes Program.

Homeowners who were selected will have the opportunity to receive a grant worth up to ten thousand dollars to repair or replace their roofs to the fortified roof standard.

Susan and Mark Stair were two of the lucky ones to be selected.

“We thought, what did we have to lose? We will need a new roof, and we were very interested in trying to get a better rate on our insurance, so we were hoping this would help,” Susan said.

This reconstruction will help strengthen a roof against severe storms and high winds.

Once construction is completed, each homeowner will receive a certificate that can be shared with their insurer for a discount on their premium.

This program was utilized in Alabama where homeowners saw impressive results.

“On average, a 23% reduction in the cost of homeowners insurance and on average, an increase in 7% on a home that has a fortified roof on it,” James Donelon said.

While the first two rounds were limited to citizens policyholders, the remaining 1,500 grants will be given out to any eligible homeowner across the state.

The Stair family says being chosen for this grant opportunity will hopefully help them financially in the future.

“Everything is, inflation. Everything. This is hitting a lot of people, so I think it’s a lovely program,” Susan said.

Donelon says lowering insurance rates is not the only reason for this program. He says he also hopes that this will make Louisiana markets more attractive to insurers.

“If we can get like Alabama, up to 50,000 homes predominately located in our coastal parishes, that will make our challenge long-term much more manageable from an insurance point of view,” Donelon said.

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