Locals voice concerns about lack of housing options

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - People are trying to find resources to recover from Hurricane Michael.

Thursday, the Bay County Chapter of the NAACP held a town hall meeting to provide storm victims with some answers.

Housing was the main focus of the meeting. Housing was one of the biggest problems after Hurricane Michael devastated our area. Now six months later, many say it still tops the list.

"It's not adequate, it's not enough,” said Bay County Resident Taylor Murphy. "If you ask any of the contractors or people who come in town they can't even find rentals and if they do they're astronomically priced. We have a huge problem with half the multi-family housing being wiped out across the county," said Bay County resident Taylor Murphy.

During the NAACP Town Hall Meeting, locals voiced their concerns about affordable housing and misinformation when trying to get help from programs like FEMA, SBA, and other organizations.

"It's unfortunate that there is so much confusion. You would think everyone would be on a congruent message on how to get housing assistance,” added Murphy

Representatives from FEMA, SBA, and other organizations were trying to walk locals through their process to better understand how they work.

"You can appeal either being deemed not eligible for FEMA assistance or maybe appeal the amount you received. Maybe you need more money,” explained FEMA Spokesperson Lenisha Smith.

People also shared their ideas on what could help in the recovery efforts.

"I think a combination of container homes and tiny homes would be the quickest and most aesthetically pleasing option that can be done at an affordable price,” said Taylor.

There were other ideas brought up such as adding housing assistance information to water bills.

People also expressed concerns about finding affordable housing for low-income families, the elderly, and those who are disabled.