MY STRONG HOME Program Earns Presidential Recognition
By Green Coast on 27 Aug 2015
“If I harden my buildings, make them safer against hurricanes, can I get lower premiums?” Ramsey Green_
As a real estate developer, Ramsey Green had pondered this question and when he found an answer he wanted to share it. The short answer was “yes,” but was there an economical way for homeowners to strengthen their homes against storms and receive lower insurance premiums?
That took a little more searching and Green was up for it.
In 2014, Green, head of GCE Green Development and Green Coast partner, joined 59 others in the inaugural Presidential Leadership Scholar program, which fosters leadership skills and required participants to develop a personal leadership program. As his personal program, Green pursued the idea of making houses more resilient against severe weather events with lower insurance rates.
He reached out to MyStrongHome, an organization currently funded by philanthropic organizations but with the eventual goal of becoming a public benefit for-profit company. They use insurance discounts to finance home resilience improvements, such as roof enhancements and better window coverings. The discounts, referred to as mitigation credits, allow the organization to make the necessary improvements at little to no cost to homeowners as long as the homeowner agrees to use the credits to pay back the construction costs.
Green worked with the nonprofit to bring the program to New Orleans as a pilot project. Along with Frank Burkhardt, GCE Green Development senior project manager, he oversaw storm improvement projects for five New Orleans homes. With these impressive results, Green recently became a 2015 Presidential Leadership Scholar and has hopes for continuing the program.
“This is the first program that uses mitigation efforts on single-family homes that has been introduced to New Orleans and not funded by government,” Green says. “It’s an innovative and financially-sustainable model and I’m excited to see it grow.”
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