Panama City could receive funding to rebuild public housing communities

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Like most of Panama City, several local public housing communities were severely damaged by Hurricane Michael. So the Panama City Commission is jumping in to help give a loan to the Panama City Housing Authority.

According to the PCHA, all of the public housing communities were damaged during Hurricane Michael.

"We lost approximately 50 percent of our inventory," said Panama City Housing Authority Executive Director, Teri Henry. "The communities that had the worst damage were Massalina and Fletcher black."

The Panama City Housing Authority is planning to send an application to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation to receive money to rebuild Massalina Memorial Homes. "Our Massalina community, it will be demolished and we will build all new units 106 new units," said Henry.

The Panama City Commission committed to loaning the PCHA $354,000 to help them receive the funding.

"We'd loan them the money for one year we won't have to give it to them until they start the project and they give it back to us 365 days later and hopefully that will move their application to the top of the list," said Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki.

Brudnicki said that would give them a one in 12 chance of getting the money. As for now, Henry said few families still live in Massalina Memorial Homes and the people who had to leave can receive assistance with their housing fees.

"HUD has provided us with protection vouchers for those families that we are issuing now," said Henry. "That will help them find affordable housing in the surrounding areas and any in Bay County that they can find."

Henry said former residents of Fletcher Black are also eligible for the vouchers. She said the organization will submit the application to the Florida Housing Corporation Tuesday and will know in 90 days if they received the money.

For more information about the HUD vouchers please click on the link attached to this article.