Cape Coral eliminates 5-year look-back period for 50% rule

Reporter: Asha Patel Writer: Joey Pellegrino


In a game-changer for Cape Coral homeowners who suffered damage from Hurricane Ian, the city has removed its five-year look-back period for FEMA’s 50% rule.

While this will relieve many homeowners in Cape Coral when it comes to making post-Ian repairs on their houses, there remains much confusion surrounding the 50% rule and five-year look-back. Homeowners who spoke to WINK News want answers.

A pile of debris sits outside a house after Hurricane Ian. Credit: WINK News

The 50% rule is a National Flood Insurance Program regulation, requiring structures with damage exceeding 50% of their market value to be rebuilt in a manner consistent with current flood elevation and state building codes. In some cases, entire home slabs would need to be raised to at least 7 feet above sea level.

In Cape Coral, the amount spent on repairs to one’s home over the last five years previously counted against a homeowner on top of the new damage estimates from Hurricane Ian. But the city has now voted to take that five-year window away, so homeowners who made improvements before Ian will not be penalized.

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