Created in 1992 as part of the William E. Sadowski Affordable Housing Act, the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program's mission is threefold:
- Provide funding to eligible local governments for the implementation of programs that create and preserve affordable housing.
- Foster public-private partnerships to create and preserve affordable housing.
- Encourage local governments to implement regulatory reforms and promote the development of affordable housing in their communities by using funds as an incentive for private development. Funds are allocated to every Florida County as well as municipalities which receive CDBG funds.
SHIP funds may be used for emergency repairs, new construction, rehabilitation, down payment and closing cost assistance, construction and gap financing, mortgage buy-downs, acquisition of property for affordable housing, special needs housing, home ownership counseling and match for federal housing loans and grants. A minimum of 65 percent of a local government's total annual distribution of SHIP funds must be used for home ownership. A minimum of 75 percent of a local government's total annual distribution of SHIP funds must be used for construction-related activities, including rehabilitation, new construction, emergency repairs, or financing for a newly constructed or rehabilitated unit.
At least 30 percent of a local government's total annual distribution of SHIP funds must be reserved for awards to very low income persons (50% AMI), and an additional 30 percent of funds must be awarded to low income persons (80% AMI). The remainder may serve any combination of very-low, low or moderate income persons (120% AMI).
Eligible Applicants/Application Process
Individuals, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit developers must apply to local government for funding. Each local government receives an annual allocation which is appropriated by the Florida Legislature. To participate, a local government must establish a Local Housing Assistance Program; submit and receive approval of a Local Housing Assistance Plan to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation; adopt and incorporate Local Housing Incentive Strategies; establish or amend local 37 land development regulations, policies, and procedures in order to implement incentive strategies; submit an annual report of the housing program's accomplishments; and encourage public and private sector involvement in the form of a partnership to further program goals and reduce housing costs. Each locally administered SHIP Program determines the process of awarding and distributing funds within its community and is required to establish selection criteria to identify eligible applicants and the application process in their local Housing Assistance Plan.