PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Today Governor Ron DeSantis announced the relaunch of the Hurricane Michael Recovery Loan Program.
Last year this program helped more than 300 families become homeowners. Now with the money doubled – it could help over 600 families build a home.
Governor DeSantis says he knows the hurricane recovery will continue to be a long process, but hopes this will be a step in the right direction.
“These storms come and then they go but the damages they leave behind takes time to rebuild,” said DeSantis. “And when you have a category five storm like we had with michael that takes years and years of support.”
This program is expected to launch September 1 and will offer a below market 30-year fixed rate mortgage paired with up to a 15 thousand dollar down payment and closing cost assistance for homebuyers.
Panama City Mayor, Greg Brudnicki says it will improve the housing situation in the community.
“They found after the storm that we had a pretty unique situation here,” said Brudnicki. “We had 70 percent renters and 30 percent homeowners. This is one of the ways to flip that to make money available for people to vest themselves in the community and buy and stay.”
The loans will have zero percent interest and are forgivable at 20 percent per year over five years. The DPA loan is fully forgivable if a person is in active duty and must sell their home.
Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis, says this money will keep families raised in Northwest Florida in the place they call home.
“What you’ve done is you have created a stabilizing force in every neighborhood with a family that has bought a home,” said Patronis. “The single biggest investment they’ll ever make in their life and then they’ll carry that responsibility into work, into church, into sporting events, into the community. So it is all for strengthening our part of the state.”
Residents are eligible for this program if they’re household income is no more than 66-thousand dollars and must live in the home.If you are interested in taking advantage of this program – more information can be found at www.floridahousing.org.