Housing authorities working to create innovative housing solutions

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - At the Majestic Resort in Panama City Beach, many from around the country came together to discuss housing solutions; specifically for areas affected by a natural disaster.

Tuesday, housing officials from many different groups joined together to work toward creating innovative and affordable housing solutions for our area. (WJHG/WECP)

The meeting's goal is to inspire housing officials to come up with creative and innovative ideas to bring more affordable housing to the area.

Housing authorities from groups such as FEMA, HUD, USDA, NeighborWorks, Fannie Mae and many more listened to ideas.

One innovative idea discussed is a community land trust., which means if public dollars were put into public land and then into homes, they should be affordable forever. The community land trust would be like a model where the owner could buy the house but the community land trust owns the actual property.

Another goal this meeting wants to accomplish is having a plan already made for when federal dollars come our way.

"We're trying to get everybody ready for that so that they can go right into action with it and be compliant with any rules and regulations that are with it and also, we really need to listen to the people that were displaced and find out what they want, where do you want to live? What would improve your life?" said Disaster Recovery Housing Director for the Florida Housing Coalition, Gladys Cooks.

One more idea discussed is to use shipping containers. Housing officials said workers use those in Monroe County and they use a community kitchen, which could be a solution for workers while our area is still rebuilding.

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