BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay County Commissioners were able to reallocate $9.5 million dollars in funding from a different ReHouse Bay program to take care of people in the purchasing program queue.
ReHouse Bay covers several programs like repairs or reconstructing hurricane-damaged houses, rental assistance and supporting first-time homebuyers to make a down payment on a home.
A few weeks ago, county officials announced the program would be put on pause after it ran out of funding.
Since the beginning of the year, the program has closed on 96 contracts.
“It’s a humbling thing to watch and to know that the decisions we’ve made has helped this many families from their application process being able to submit then they get the award letter they can go with a realtor,” said Bay County Commissioner, Doug Moore.
In August, the county put the program on pause to reallocate money from other housing programs to cover the funding for the remaining applicants.
At Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners approved the reallocation of $9.5 million.
“Our county has actually moved more money in this program than any other county and throughout the state so we’re hoping that the state will inside of this give us more funds so we can continue to use this program to benefit the community,” Moore said.
Several people who benefited from the program came out to the meeting to express their support for the additional funding.
“Our new address is – our house is being built and we’re going to be in this house within the next month-month and a half,” said Bay County resident, Richard Donnelly. “If it was not for this program that we started about four months ago – four, five months ago, my wife saw it on the internet and we started by going in Cedar Grove to the class. We took an 8-hour class and we learned a lot in that program and Ms. Tammy has helped us over the last four of five months.”
Despite the $9.5 million in reallocated funds, commissioners said the program is unfortunately still on pause for any new applicants.
Officials said they are working to find more funding for the purchasing program.