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Surfside Building Collapse Highlights Gaps In Florida Building Code And Condo Associations

Clearwater Beach SB9 DM.jpg
Daylina Miller
/
WUSF Public Media
Beachside communities like Clearwater Beach have been re-evaluating building safety since the Champlain Towers South tragedy.

The collapse of Champlain Towers South last month has led to Florida officials and condominium associations to re-evaluate building inspections and maintenance, especially when it comes to older structures.

On this week’s Florida Matters, we look at the ripple effect that the Champlain Towers South collapse is having across Florida.

In the weeks since the tragedy, Florida's condominium buildings -- especially older ones -- have been under heightened scrutiny.

All around the state – including here in Tampa Bay – officials and condo residents are raising concerns about building safety, timely inspections and the responsibility of condo associations.

First, host Bradley George talks with Danny Rivero, a reporter at WLRN, the public radio station in Miami.

Rivero said that collapse was an incredibly rare occurrence, likely the first of its kind in the country. That, he said, is making it hard to determine what steps officials should take going forward to protect condo residents.

Later on, he speaks with Patricia Born about new questions the disaster has raised about condo insurance in Florida.

She teaches in the Risk Management and Insurance Program at Florida State University’s College of Business.

That single collapse likely won’t drive insurers away from insuring condos, Born said.

But she said Champlain Towers South can be a lesson to condo owners who hope for lower HOA fees. Those fees help with short and long term building maintenance.

You can listen to Bradley’s full conversations with Rivero and Born by clicking on the “Listen” button. Or you can listen to the WUSF app under “Programs & Podcasts.”

Dinorah Prevost is the producer of Florida Matters, WUSF's weekly public affairs show.
Bradley George comes to WUSF from Atlanta, where he was a reporter, host, and editor at Georgia Public Broadcasting. While in Atlanta, he reported for NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and The Takeaway. His work has been recognized by PRNDI, the Georgia Associated Press, and the Atlanta Press Club. Prior to his time in Georgia, Bradley worked at public radio stations in Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina.