Cape Coral residents with homes built before 1981 should hold off repairing

Reporter: Samantha Johns Writer: WINK News Digital
Published: Updated:
Cape Coral City Council

The City of Cape Coral advises residents whose homes were built before 1981 to hold off on any repairs.

The city is asking residents to wait to make repairs until Dec. 1, 2022.

The 50% Rule, a regulation of the National Flood Insurance Program, requires structures with damage exceeding 50% of their market value to be rebuilt consistent with the current flood elevation and Florida Building Code, the city said.

The City of Cape Coral doesn’t want residents to pay additional costs to repair structures before determining whether it has received 50% or more damage.

Cape Coralā€™s City Council is expediting the approval of an ordinance that may remove regulations, to make it easier on the homeowner when determining calculations for the 50% Rule.

The area around the Cape Coral Yacht Club, prior to Ian, was known for its charming homes near the water. Many of them were built more than half a century ago.

“All the furniture is gone. Anything that was below 4 feet in the house has been destroyed. All the drywall’s ripped out, everything, the house is gutted,” said Kelle Pardl, of Cape Coral. “There’s just nothing you can really save from the saltwater.”

Her home was built in 1961. It didn’t hold up well against Ian’s storm surge.

Pardl said she believes her home suffered about $120,000 in damages.

Hearing that number, you would think it was a total loss, but not everything was destroyed.

Her hurricane impact windows held up without a scratch, and they even still have a TV on the wall.

The question now is, are there damages more than 50%, according to FEMA standards?

Right now, it’s uncertain, so the City of Cape Coral is trying to change that.

“Homes that suffered more than 50% of damage may have to be rebuilt completely to bring it up to elevation standards into current and the current building codes. So we’re asking people right now, right now to hold off until, I think, Dec. 1, until we can enact a new ordinance that may change some of these requirements from a local level,” said Cape Coral Councilman Tom Hayden.

For many people, holding off until December for home repairs might seem impossible, but city officials say it’s in their best interest.

“There’s a cumulative damage that we deal with over a five-year period where you may have had worked on, but we may look at eliminating that,” Hayden said. “You may have had window or roof repairs done in that five-year period. Well, you know, we might, we may take that down.”

For people like Pardl, who have extreme damage and no flood insurance, waiting could save them thousands.

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