Panama City officials share plans to bring affordable housing to the area

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Many locals are still struggling to find affordable housing nearly a year after Hurricane Michael.

Many are still in need of housing assistance after Hurricane Michael, especially low-income families and locals are sharing ways to help them out. (WJHG/WECP)

"There's so many of our citizens in Panama City that still have unmet needs. They need places to stay, they need clothing, and they need utilities," said Director of Community Development Michael Johnson.

Johnson says they're working to find ways to help out.

"If they find an apartment and they need first month's rent, security deposit, utility deposit, we're helping them," said Johnson.

Johnson said they plan on bringing in hundreds of housing options over the next few years, including multi-family and single-family homes and apartment units. He also said they're helping storm victims find temporary housing solutions.

"We are considering a tiny home development. We're also working with Mike Ross in a 3-D housing project. That's homes being creating using robotics. We're doing a container storage house," said Johnson.

Johnson said they're also helping victims buy FEMA trailers.

"They're [FEMA] selling them to the survivors, so we're helping them purchase those units. It's just a matter of being able to locate those in an area where they allow trailers," he explained.

According to Johnson, the city, along with the Department of Juvenile Justice, will hold a housing fair Thursday. More than 30 vendors will be on hand to help people find ways to recover from the storm.

The event will go on from 5-7 p.m. at the Glenwood Community Center in Panama City.

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