New affordable housing coming to Jackson County

Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 9:25 PM CST
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MARIANNA, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - On October 10, 2018, Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle. More than two years later, our community is still struggling to meet certain needs.

“The need for housing, the need for workers, the need to have housing that is sustainable,” said Darwin Gilmore, dean of the Chipola College Workforce and Economic Development.

Chipola Area Habitat for Humanity teamed up with two colleges to help fix some of those problems.

Thursday, officials broke ground on four new affordable homes in Marianna, as part of the ‘Chipola Street Development’ project.

One homeowner was already selected for the first lot, which she says is a blessing.

“I can’t even describe exactly how I feel today. It’s something I never thought would happen to me,” homeowner Tracee Tanner said.

Auburn University’s Rural Studio students are designing the homes, while students in Chipola College’s Workforce Development Program will help build them.

Chipola Area Habitat for Humanity officials say they’re still accepting applications for this program.

“Right now, we are really focused on serving those who are Hurricane Michael impacted. With hopes that we’ll be able to give them the dream of homeownership and pull them out of survival mode from the hurricane, into stability for the remainder of their lives,” Carmen Smith, executive director of the Chipola Area Habitat for Humanity, said.

The groups say they want to have all four homes finished by this fall.

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