On October 3, 2019, Vice Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa advanced two legislative items urging the Florida Legislature to expand the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program to enhance the resilience of our community. The items were unanimously approved by County Commissioners and will now be transmitted to the Florida Legislature for consideration.

The PACE program is a financing structure through which property owners may voluntarily opt into a special assessment district to finance certain improvements and retrofits to real property, where that financing is repaid over time through a non ad-valorem assessment on the owner’s property tax bill. Currently, Florida Statutes stipulate that eligible improvements include energy conservation and efficiency, renewable energy, and wind resistance. While these improvements are decidedly beneficial, they do not directly address the unique problem of sea level rise in our community. With that in mind, Vice Chairwoman Sosa’s legislative items urge the Florida Legislature to expand the list of eligible improvements to include the raising of electrical boxes and home foundations, improvements to the underground infrastructure of homes, and sewage treatment improvements, such as the conversion from septic tanks to sewer systems. Facilitating these resiliency-related improvements through PACE financing may increase the number of property owners who make such improvements to their property, and thereby increase the resiliency of those properties and the community-at-large, in a way that may provide greater protection during storms or flooding events.

“Through the adoption of the recommendations of the Sea Level Rise Task Force and the establishment of the Office of Resiliency, Miami-Dade County is demonstrating its commitment to building a resilient community,” said Vice Chairwoman Sosa. “The PACE program has been greatly successful and is already helping many families make their homes energy efficient and safer against hurricanes. Expanding the program will provide our residents with a greater opportunity to make their homes more resilient and give them the assistance they need.”