BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — The ReHouse Bay First Time Buyer’s purchasing program is on hold as of Monday.
The program provides qualified buyers with grants ranging from $50,000 to $75,000 to buy their first home. The money for this specific program has nearly run out.
After Hurricane Michael, Bay County and the City of Panama City split $36 million for special housing programs.
A portion of that money was dedicated to the ReHouse Bay First Time Buyer’s purchasing program.
“Just since the calendar year started we’ve actually had about 88 eligible applicants go all the way through the process and get funded at a level of $50,000 to $75,000,” Deputy County Manager, Joel Schubert said.
But now the county needs to reallocate funding from other housing programs to cover the funding for the remaining applicants.
“While we have spent or plan to expend $10 million dollars this year, we still have another 120 applicants that are still in the queue,” Schubert said. “They’ve applied but it hasn’t been the 10-12 weeks where they’ve received this award letter. We don’t want to leave them hanging as well, so the staff has recommended we go to some of these programs that are in less demand and we are going to reallocate the funds.”
Officials are hoping to pull up to $9.5 million from some of the other housing programs to help eligible buyers who applied before Monday.
For now, the program is on pause until they can find more money.
“We’re saying we’re sticking it on a pause, but we will accept it but you’re going to be waitlisted to see because we never stop trying,” Schubert said. “If there’s other monies that can be reallocated, if Tallahassee had other funds in other jurisdictions that we’re not using, we’re going to vie for those funds.”
Even though the program is on pause, people can still apply. Until the county finds more money, grant funding to buy a home is not guaranteed.