TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – May 22, 2019 – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced the availability of two new homeownership loan programs that will provide additional affordable housing resources for Floridians impacted by Hurricane Michael.

The Florida Housing Finance Corporation (Florida Housing) officially began the rollout of the programs this week.

"When I first took office, I asked the Florida Housing Finance Corporation to come up with additional ways to assist counties devastated by recent hurricanes," says DeSantis. "I'm pleased to report that the Florida Housing Finance Corporation is moving ahead with two new loan programs that will assist impacted counties and the victims who have been displaced by Hurricane Michael. Housing remains among the most serious concerns as Northwest Florida continues to rebuild and recover and my administration remains committed to the full recovery of these communities."

"These homeownership and down payment assistance programs will help the rebuilding of these Panhandle communities and for families to achieve the American dream (of homeownership) affordably," says Trey Price, executive director of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation.

Expected to launch in early June, the Homeownership Loan Program (HLP) will offer a favorable 30-year fixed rate first mortgage coupled with up to $15,000 in down payment (DPA) and closing cost assistance for qualifying homebuyers up to 140% AMI. DPA loans will be at zero percent interest, non-amortizing and forgivable at 20% per year over five years. The DPA loan is fully forgivable if an active duty serviceperson is officially reassigned and must sell the home.

A total of up to $5 million in DPA will be available and may be used in conjunction with a variety of first mortgage products, including Veterans Affairs (VA) loans. Those eligible do not have to be a first-time homebuyer to qualify for this program, though the home must be owner-occupied.

The Homeownership Pool (HOP) Program will also launch in June and will create a $1 million pool of federal (HOME) funds to be made available to Hurricane Michael impacted counties for new single-family housing. Homebuilders who participate in this program can use up to $35,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance loans (DPA) to assist homebuyers in qualifying to purchase these new homes. The DPA loans assist borrowers at 80% area median income (AMI) and below and are zero percent interest, non-amortizing and due on sale, refinance or non-owner occupancy.

Also, Florida Housing's Board of Directors recently voted to approve funding to construct seven newly-constructed rental developments providing over 200 units of affordable housing. The more than $30 million investment will be made using federal Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) funding and include developments in Bay (3), Gulf (2), (1) Jackson and (1) Wakulla counties.

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