State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program

Creation of Program

The State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program is the centerpiece of the William E. Sadowski Affordable Housing Act, passed in 1992. SHIP was created to provide funds to local governments as an incentive for the creation of public/private partnerships for the production of affordable housing. The SHIP Program channels a portion of Documentary (DOC) Stamp proceeds from real estate transfers directly to local governments, enabling local governments to address the needs identified in their local comprehensive plan housing elements with locally designed SHIP strategies.

Program & Use of Funds

The Gulf County SHIP Program has three strategies to assist in providing affordable housing to its residents.
  • First is the Purchase Assistance strategy. This strategy provides monies for home buyers to either purchase a new home, build a home, purchase land to build or purchase a pre-owned home.
  • Second is the Rehabilitation strategy. This strategy is designed to provide funds to qualified applicants to rehabilitate their existing homes. All work is done by a qualified contractor.
  • Third is the Homeownership Education strategy. This strategy is designed to inform qualified applicants of procedures in acquiring a home. Included are topics on debt management, terms used by owners and real estate persons, pitfalls in signing contracts, etc. This is the only mandatory element of the Gulf County SHIP Program. All qualified applicants must attend a class.

Periods of Fund Availability

Funds for the SHIP Program are allocated in July of each year. The local SHIP administrator is responsible for advertising this availability for 30 days prior to use of the funds.

Applications for purchase assistance and rehabilitation are announced in this advertisement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When are applications available?
A: Normally applications are available in the month of July after the 30 days of advertising has been accomplished.

Q: What are the income requirements for the program?
A: Income guidelines are furnished by the State of Florida each March. These guidelines include income limits for families in size from one to eight members.

Q: What income is counted?
A: Gross Annual Income (before taxes) of all adult members (18 years and older) of the household.

Q: Do certificates of deposit, other land owned, savings accounts, etc., count toward total family income?
A: Yes, all assets count toward the family income.

Q: How many times may one apply for assistance through this program?
A: As many times as one wishes; however, once selected and provided funds, the family is no longer eligible for further assistance.

Q: Can other program funds (rural development, etc.) be used in conjunction with SHIP funds to purchase a home?
A: Yes.

Q: Can owner financing work with this program?
A: No.

Q: Can one receive funds to rehabilitate their home if they have "an agreement for deed" through owner financing of their home?
A: No, the applicant must have a mortgage or deed to their home.

Q: How long is the mortgage for SHIP funds to purchase or build a home?
A: The mortgage is never forgiven for this type of use. The mortgage is repayable only when the home ceases to be the primary residence of the applicant. Repayment is interest free!

Q: What about mortgages for rehabilitation assistance?
A: The mortgage for rehabilitation assistance is for 10 years, provided the applicant resides in the home for the full period. If the applicant moves, sells or otherwise ceases to use the home as their primary residence, then the mortgage is due and payable with no interest due.

Q: Can a person(s) make application even though they live together but are not married?
A: Yes, however, both must sign the mortgage and both incomes are counted for verification and approval.

Q: How long does it take to get approved to build or buy a home through the purchase assistance program?
A: Everything depends on verification of income, commitment from a seller/contractor, and bank approval for the loan.

Questions concerning the Gulf County SHIP Program may be directed to:

Brett Lowry, Deputy Administrator

(850) 229-5335 Phone

(850) 229-5334 Fax

EMAIL:  ship@gulfcounty-fl.gov

 





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