Miami-Dade County is offering some condo owners loans up to $50,000 to cover costs associated with special assessments.
“A loan up to $50,000, with zero percent interest,” said Ignacio Ortiz Petit, Senior executive assistant to the executive director of Miami-Dade Public Housing. “This is a program that we have done in conjunction with our mayor, Daniella Levine Cava, the board of county commissioners to help people.”
The money is meant to lighten the load of special assessments costs on condo owners when it comes to bringing condo buildings up to code.
“For structural issues, you have concrete. You have concrete, you have plumbing, you have electricity, that sort of thing to bring the building into a recertification process,” Ortiz Petit said.
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“Qualifying owners making less than 140% of the area median income (AMI) can get up to $50,000 in assistance to pay for these assessments,” the county said in a news release. “Individuals earning less than $95,620; couples making less than $109,200; three person households earning less than $122,920; and households of four making less than $136,500 may be eligible.”
Martin Langesfeld’s sister Nicky Langesfeld and his brother-in-law Luis Saovnic were killed in the Surfside condo collapse.
After the tragedy, Martin Langesfeld became an advocate for condo safety.
“In the case of the Surfside building collapse, there were over $10 million in special assessments waiting for the condo owners to pay,” he said.
NBC 6 reported in 2021 when documents revealed a bid package and plans in the days before the collapse to make more than $10 million in repairs at Champlain Towers South.
While the building fell down just under two weeks before the deadline for contractors to make their final bids, engineers familiar with the project cautioned nothing in the documents suggested an impending failure.
Langesfeld says the loans are a step in the right direction, but he believes more can be done to improve condo safety.
“So that is why the building legislation codes need to be changed from the beginning,” he said. “Not only loans to help.”