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State to give about $3M to county for housing assistance

By Staff | Apr 9, 2009

Moderate and low income families in unincorporated areas of Lee County are set to receive nearly $3 million in SHIP fund assistance for homeownership.
SHIP, or State Housing Initiatives Partnership, funds are administered by the state. They are aimed at the acquisition, rehabilitation, resale, down payment assistance and limited construction for ongoing housing projects.
Gloria Sajgo, of Lee County Community Development, said the county distributes the funds to nonprofit housing authorities such as Habitat for Humanity.
“A lot of the initiatives will be to acquire homes for rehab and resale of existing homes and put qualified families in them,” she said.
Despite the ailing housing market, Sajgo said the funds will help to move the county in a positive direction by reducing the housing inventory.
Habitat for Humanity requested $1 million for 25 vacant, never before occupied homes. Twelve of those homes are targeted for very low income families, nine for low income families and four for moderate income families.
Goodwill Industries is looking to rehabilitate existing housing occupied by the disabled by requesting more than $370,000.
While the Goodwill project does little to reduce the housing inventory, Sajgo insisted that the projects are crucial to the county’s rental strategy, which includes keeping people in existing homes.
“The thrust is to help deal with the existing crisis by reducing housing inventory,” she said.
According to Sajgo, Cape Coral will not receive any of the nearly $3 million in SHIP funds because municipalities receive their own SHIP fund assistance.
Cape Coral currently receives more than $1 million in SHIP funds.