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$5 million housing disaster relief on way to Hurricane Michael victims

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(CNN)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Housing Finance Corporation is releasing $5 million in disaster funds to counties in the Panhandle that were ravaged by Hurricane Michael.

After completing the evaluation process regarding the State Housing Initiative Partnership, or SHIP, program disaster funds, Florida Housing is allocating the funding to nine impacted counties.

The Tier 1 counties include: Bay, Calhoun, Gulf and Jackson. The Tier 2 counties include: Franklin, Gadsden, Liberty, Wakulla, and Washington. Click here to review the complete list of local governments approved to receive disaster funding and other resources available throughout the state.

“Many of the counties affected by Hurricane Michael are small, rural counties, and the SHIP dollars allocated here will make a difference getting residents’ lives back in order,” said Trey Price, executive director for Florida Housing. “Florida Housing continues the long process of rebuilding the Panhandle with this much-needed allocation.” 

The SHIP program provides funds to local governments for their homeownership and rental housing programs. Florida Housing is authorized to hold back up to $5 million each fiscal year from the SHIP appropriation for recovery efforts for declared disasters. In previous years, recovery efforts included response to hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and wildfires.

While SHIP’s role is primarily in long-term housing recovery, each SHIP local government has an adopted disaster strategy that allows for assistance in the immediate aftermath of a declared disaster.

The strategies include temporary relocation, tree and debris removal, rent assistance and short-term repairs to prevent further damage to the structure or to allow for occupancy until further repairs are made.