Housing assistance opportunity helping local hurricane victims

Thanks to a new housing assistance opportunity, hurricane victims can get financial assistance...
Thanks to a new housing assistance opportunity, hurricane victims can get financial assistance getting back on their feet. (WJHG/WECP)(WJHG)
Published: Oct. 30, 2019 at 5:13 PM CDT
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When John Hunt's home was damaged from Hurricane Michael, he didn't know how he would pay for the repairs.

"I had a whole lot of damage to my roof and my room back here in the back and it was just in terrible shape," said Hunt.

That's when he learned about the William E. Sadowski Affordable Housing Act.

Michael Johnson, the Director of the Community Development and Redevelopment Agency in Panama City, said, "It's administered by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation out of Tallahassee."

So far, the program has helped hundreds of Bay County residents pay for things like down payments, first month's rent, and even home repairs.

"Air conditioning- they put in a new central air and heat and they done the vents up top and they redone my roof, put me a whole new metal roof on top," said Hunt.

Johnson said, "In January we received $1.6 million and just recently we received another $4.7 million and the county received $11 million and all of those dollars must be used for housing."

Without the program, Hunt says he would have had to move out.

"Yeah it was a big relief, I don't have to worry about going around asking nobody help," he said.

While the program may not be widely known, anyone can apply.

Johnson said, "What starts the process is an application. So they need to come to City Hall, Room 206, to the Community Development Office. There's an application they need to complete and there's some verification documents that need to be returned."

What documents you need to bring depends on what kind of assistance you are applying for. The best way to find out is to call 850-872-7230.

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