CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE MAY 12, 2015 HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER PROGRAM INFORMAL HEARING NOTICE
The Housing Services division currently includes the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) and State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) programs. The Section 8 and SHIP programs are administered for the County by Government Services Group, Inc. (GSG). GSG can be contacted at (850) 325-6288, is available every Thursday from 1:00p.m. – 4:00p.m. at the BOCC Administration Office, 3093 Crawfordville Hwy, or at the following e-mail address:
Jay Moseley, Housing Director - JMoseley@govserv.com
Wakulla County residents may also be able to receive assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and Weatherization Assistance Program – Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (WAP-LIHEAP). Capital Area Community Action Agency (CACAA) administers the LIHEAP and WAP programs in Wakulla County. CACAA can be contacted at (850) 926-3122 or at (850) 745-6042. Their offices are located at The Wakulla One Stop Community Center, 318 Shadeville Road, Crawfordville, FL 32327.
Below is a brief description of the various Housing programs available to Wakulla County citizens:
What is Fair Housing? Fair housing is your right under the law to compete equally for housing, without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability or family status. Fair housing is a right, not a privilege. Federal law prohibits housing discrimination based on your race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, or disability.
To visit the Fair Housing Act, please click here .........For Basic Facts About Fair Housing, please click here . . .
Or to view a short PSA on Fair Housing visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiH4QyJWobo .
If you have any questions relating to Fair Housing, please contact the Fair Housing Coordinator, Melissa Corbett at 850-926-3695 ext. 742.
To contact Wakulla County’s EEO and Section 504 Coordinator, please contact Deborah DuBose at 850-926-0919 ext.707.
The Housing Choice Voucher Program is the federal government's major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments. The participant is free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and is not limited to units located in subsidized housing projects.
Housing choice vouchers are administered locally by public housing agencies (PHAs). The PHAs receive federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to administer the voucher program. A family that is issued a housing voucher is responsible for finding a suitable housing unit of the family's choice where the owner agrees to rent under the program. This unit may include the family's present residence. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by the PHA.
A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by the PHA on behalf of the participating family. The family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program. For more information on the Housing Choice Voucher Program, please contact Meridian at (850) 877-1908 or visit the HUD website at: www.Hud.gov
Florida Housing Finance Corporation administers the State Housing Initiatives Partnership program (SHIP), which provides funds to local governments as an incentive to create partnerships that produce and preserve affordable homeownership and multifamily housing. The program was designed to serve very low, low and moderate income families.
SHIP funds are distributed on an entitlement basis to all 67 counties and 53 Community Development Block Grant entitlement cities in Florida. The minimum allocation is $350,000 and the maximum allocation is over $8.8 million. In order to participate, local governments must establish a local housing assistance program by ordinance; develop a local housing assistance plan and housing incentive strategy; amend land development regulations or establish local policies to implement the incentive strategies; form partnerships and combine resources in order to reduce housing costs; and ensure that rent or mortgage payments within the targeted areas do not exceed 30 percent of the area median income limits, unless authorized by the mortgage lender.
SHIP dollars may be used to fund emergency repairs, new construction, rehabilitation, down payment and closing cost assistance, impact fees, construction and gap financing, mortgage buy-downs, acquisition of property for affordable housing, matching dollars for federal housing grants and programs, and homeownership counseling. SHIP funds may be used to assist units that meet the standards of chapter 553; SHIP funds may also be used to assist manufactured housing constructed after June 1994 in accordance with the installation standards defined in the rules of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
A minimum of 65 percent of the funds must be spent on eligible homeownership activities; a minimum of 75 percent of funds must be spent on eligible construction activities; at least 30 percent of the funds must be reserved for very-low income households (up to 50 percent of the area median income or AMI); an additional 30 percent may be reserved for low income households (up to 80 percent of AMI); and the remaining funds may be reserved for moderate-income households (up to 120 percent of AMI.). It is important to note that no more than 5 percent of SHIP funds may be used for administrative expenses. However, if a local government makes a finding of need by resolution, a local government may use up to 10 percent for administrative expenses. Funding for this program was established by the passage of the 1992 William E. Sadowski Affordable Housing Act. Funds are allocated to local governments each month on a population-based formula. These funds are derived from the collection of documentary stamp tax revenues, which are deposited into the Local Government Housing Trust Fund. Total actual disbursements are dependent upon these documentary stamp collections. For more information on the SHIP program, please contact Meridian at (850) 877-1908.
LIHEAP is a federally funded block grant program that is implemented at the State, Tribal, and Insular Area levels. Grantees serve from low income households who seek assistance for their home energy bills. LIHEAP has been operating since 1982 and its purpose is: "to assist low-income households, particularly those with the lowest incomes, which pay a high proportion of household income for home energy, primarily in meeting their immediate home energy needs." The program encourages priority be given to those with the "highest home energy needs", meaning low income households with a high energy burden and/or the presence of a "vulnerable" individual in the household, such as a young child, disabled person, or frail older individual.
Outreach to assist as many low-income customers as possible, increase the number of LIHEAP Crisis grants received, encourage low income energy users to be more energy efficient, participants in the Customer Assistance Program (CAP), assist troubled customers who received assistance in receiving Energy Assistance Education, and assist Low-income customers and Senior citizens in making payment arrangements. For more information about the LIHEAP program, please contact CACAA at (850) 926-3122 or at their offices located at 15A Crescent Way, Crawfordville, FL 32317.
The Weatherization Assistance Program was created in 1976 to assist low-income families who lacked resources to invest in energy efficiency. The Weatherization Assistance Program is operated in all 50 states. We have 25 agencies in Florida that administer the program. The funds provided by Congress are used to improve the energy efficiency of low-income dwellings, using the most advanced technologies and testing protocols available in the housing industry. The energy conservation resulting from the efforts of state and local agencies helps our country reduce its dependency on foreign oil and helps to decrease the cost of energy for families in need while improving the health and safety of their homes. To reduce the energy bills of low-income families instead of offering aid, weatherization reduces dependency and liberates these funds for spending on more pressing family issues. For more information about the WAP program, please contact CACAA at (850) 926-3122 or at their offices located at 15A Crescent Way, Crawfordville, FL 32317.
If you have any questions as to our programs feel free to contact our staff.