The Real Deal Miami

Homeowner help fund almost gone

October 02, 2008 12:58PM

The Florida Homeowners’ Construction Recovery Fund, meant to compensate homeowners who file claims after losing money to unscrupulous contractors, has almost run out of cash. It was created in 1993 after Hurricane Andrew, when rebuilding efforts spawned many complaints. The construction industry has slowed, drying up the flow of revenue for the fund, which used a half-cent-per-square-foot fee on residential building permits issued by county and municipal building code offices to replenish its coffers. Revenue from the industry dropped 65 percent from $4.3 million in fiscal year 2005 to $2.8 million in 2006. In the current fiscal year, 2007-08, revenue was less than $2 million, according to data provided by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.