Birmingham Revitalization Program Provides Safety, Security and Peace of Mind
“Our Northside community has served our city well. It has been the battleground of the civil rights movement, the birthplace of many of our heroes and a place for families to live, love and grow,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin.
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (PRWEB)
February 02, 2023
An innovative public-private partnership is helping to revitalize Birmingham’s historic Northside neighborhoods with home improvements that will keep homeowners safe, dry and better weather-prepared. Today, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, Alabama Insurance Commissioner Mark Fowler, Protective Life Corporation President and CEO Rich Bielen, and other community leaders met with Roy Wright, CEO of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Security (IBHS) to meet with residents and view recent homes -roofed to FORTIFIED standards for strong construction.
“Our Northside community has served our city well. It has been the battleground of the civil rights movement, the birthplace of many of our heroes, and a place for families to live, love and grow,” said Mayor Woodfin. “Together with these amazing partners, we honor them by pooling our resources to make their homes a safe place of pride. I hope this is just the beginning of more partnership and support from our residents across Birmingham.”
The Protecting Good: Strengthen, Repair, and Protect program combines funds from the Alabama Department of Insurance’s Strengthen Alabama Homes (SAH) program and the City of Birmingham’s Community Development Block Grant with seed capital from Protective Life Corporation so that qualified Homeowners can get as much as $25,000 to repair their homes and install a new storm-proof roof.
“Every family deserves a strong home that can withstand the elements,” Wright said. “By convening public and private programs, Protective and the City of Birmingham have created a template that cities across the country can use to eliminate complexity, break down barriers and ensure their citizens are better prepared for the next storm.”
More than 65 homes have been upgraded to the FORTIFIED standard, a reroofing method proven effective in reducing damage from winds of up to 130 mph, and 100 more are expected to be completed by 2023. Protective, a national provider of life insurance, pensions and wealth protection solutions based in Birmingham, spearheaded the new program to support the communities around Protective Stadium in downtown Birmingham. The company worked with community partners to connect diverse grant programs and help meet critical needs in these neighborhoods. The new program streamlines application processes and project management so the group can operate as a single provider, assisting families with home renovations and renewals in the Northside neighborhoods of Druid Hills, Fountain Heights, Norwood, Evergreen and Central City.
“It has been incredibly rewarding to see the Protecting Good program being created for the greater benefit of our city and our neighbors. Equally rewarding are the relationships Protective has built through this process. By building strong connections with other community-focused organizations, we, along with the residents of these neighborhoods, have discovered new opportunities where we can be better neighbors and protectors of our community,” Bielen said.
Since its inception by the Legislature in 2011, Strengthen Alabama Homes has helped homeowners upgrade their homes to the FORTIFIED standard, making them better able to withstand severe weather. The standard is widely used in coastal Alabama counties to protect against hurricane damage and is now being used increasingly in tornado-prone communities in central and northern Alabama. To date, more than 5,000 families in Alabama have received funds from SAH.
“Through the Strengthen Alabama Homes program, we have been successful in improving the lives of Alabamaans who are most vulnerable to catastrophic storms,” said Fowler. “Home fortification not only protects the lives of families and their most valuable investment, their home, but also helps reduce the risk of loss for insurance companies. This helps create a healthy and sustainable insurance market. Ultimately, efforts like the Protecting Good Initiative create a more resilient Alabama.”
As part of the collaborative Protecting Good team, Habitat for Humanity managed each of the 65 completed projects.
“Habitat’s mission is to provide affordable housing solutions in partnership with low- to middle-income families,” said Charles Moore, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Birmingham. “We’re excited to be working with the Northside community and partners at Protecting Good to provide FIXED roofs to keep these families and homes safe and dry.”
Homeowners in the Druid Hills, Fountain Heights, Norwood, Evergreen and Central City boroughs are eligible for the Protecting Good Roof Repair Program and for additional information call 205-996-0884.
About the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS)
IBHS’s mission is to conduct objective, scientific research to identify and promote effective responses that strengthen homes, businesses and communities against natural disasters and other causes of harm. Learn more about IBHS at DisasterSafety.org.
FORTIFIED is a voluntary building and reroofing program aimed at protecting homes against severe weather such as strong winds, hurricanes and tornadoes. Visit fortifiedhome.org to learn more about the program, including the naming process.
Protective has been helping people achieve protection and safety in their lives for 115 years. Through its subsidiaries, Protective provides life insurance, pensions and wealth protection solutions, helping more than 14 million people protect what matters most. Protective’s more than 3,700 employees put people first and deliver on the company’s promises to customers, partners, colleagues and communities—because we are all protectors. With a long-term focus, financial stability and a commitment to doing what’s right, Protective Life Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Inc. (TSE:8750), is worth approximately $132 billion incremented as of December 31, 2021. Protective is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama and supported by a robust virtual workforce as well as core locations in Cincinnati and St. Louis. For more information on Protective, visit http://www.protective.com.
About strengthening Alabama homes
SAH provides wind mitigation grants to Alabama residents in existing, owner-occupied single-family homes. The program was created by the Strengthen Alabama Homes Act of 2011. Learn more at StrengthenAlabamaHomes.com.
About Habitat for Humanity of Greater Birmingham
Habitat for Humanity Greater Birmingham has worked with families, sponsors and communities to build affordable, quality homes in Jefferson, Shelby, St Clair & Walker counties since 1987. Visit habitatbirmingham.org to learn more about Habitat Birmingham.