What are SHIP funds?
The State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program (SHIP) 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 provide very low, low and moderate income families with assistance to purchase a home, money to repair or replace a home and many other types of housing assistance.
In Clay and St. Johns County, SHIP funds provide home repair services to eligible residents. In Clay, SHIP funds are managed by the Clay Housing and Finance Authority (HFA). Call 904-278-8006 for more information. In St. Johns, The St. Johns Housing Partnership receives SHIP funds from SJC Housing and Community Services to target residents who need major repairs in order to remain safely in their homes. The funding helps replace roofing, plumbing and dangerous, outdated electrical systems. The funds also help with accessibility measures such as widening doorways, building ramps, repairing flooring that causes trip hazards, installing grab bars in bathrooms and making showers accessible.
For 2014-2015, Florida State Legislature has set aside 20% of the SHIP funds to prioritize assisting the developmentally disabled members of the community
There is a growing need to help current homeowners; especially seniors remain living safely and independently in their own homes. Every year, SHIP funds must be approved by the Florida Legislature. The Sadowski Coalition is a statewide effort to support and expand SHIP funding and program services.
St. Johns County Health & Human Services
The Housing & Community Services Division is responsible for the promotion, development, preservation and administration of affordable housing programs, initiatives and policies in St. Johns County. These programs are designed for single family, multifamily households and developers. Housing & Community Services also assists with related community development issues such as utilities, roads and zoning.
The St Johns Housing Partnership receives SHIP funds from SJC Housing & Community Services to target residents who need major repairs to remain safely in their homes. The funding helps replace roofing, plumbing and dangerous, outdated electrical systems. The funds also help with accessibility measures such as widening doorways, building ramps, repairing flooring to prevent trip hazards, installing grab bars in bathrooms and making showers accessible.
SHIP Success Stories
Ms. L’s Story
HELPING THOSE WHO SPENT THEIR LIVES HELPING OTHERS
In 2014, the St. Johns Housing Partnership helped a local widow with repairs which enabled her to remain living in her home and to make improvements which enhanced the safety and accessibility of her home.
“Ms. L” not only lost her husband several years ago, but also his secure income. She had also previously cleaned homes for a number of years until her health limited her ability to physically perform the jobs. She was forced to retire and now lives on a meager social security income.
Without the physical ability or financial resources for home maintenance, her home had deteriorated over time. When the St. Johns Housing Partnership assessed her home, they discovered a severely leaking roof, dilapidated plumbing, doors and windows that no longer functioned along with the need for some accessibility modifications due to her age.
With the help of St. Johns Housing Partnership and SHIP funding, crucial repairs were
made including repairs to her roof, doors and windows and her bathroom was equipped with ADA toilet, a fully-accessible shower with grab bars and a handheld shower head.
To qualify for assistance, she had to meet low-income guidelines, own and reside in her home, keep her property taxes paid and current, and sign a 2nd lien on the home for the work that was performed.
Thanks to this assistance, she will be able to continue to live safely in her home for a number of years. She can stay in the community she loves, will continue to pay property taxes, and her home will not depreciate in value which could have impacted other properties in her neighborhood.
“If the SJHP had not come around to help, I don’t know how I could stay in my house.” – Ms. L.
Mr. Young’s Story
Mr. Young reached out to the St. Johns Housing Partnership because his roof had been leaking badly. At 85 years old and living on a small pension and social security, he could not repair the roof or afford the repairs on his own.
After a full inspection, the SJHP realized Mr. Young needed more than just a new roof to solve some of his housing problems. The old and decaying heating and air system was creating an energy drain and was not sized properly to adequately supply air through his home. The roof leak caused ceiling, wall and floor damage and he had a bathroom that was not safe for aging in place. Mr. Young also needed new cabinets and a refrigerator. In addition, Mr. Young received an electrical upgrade as a safety accommodation, smoke detectors and some carpentry work.
With SHIP funds, Mr. Young’s home is once again safe, dry, energy-efficient and accessible. He feels that he can continue to live in his home for the rest of his life which is just the way he wants it! As Mr. Young said as we finished the work in his home, “I am no longer stressed out. I don’t worry when the weather is bad. My house feels like a home again.”
Working with SJC Housing and Community Services to disperse these SHIP funds has provided a pathway for Mr. Young to continue to live independently in his home. These funds provide a crucial role in the ability to return aging, decaying housing stock to decent, safe, affordable homes for their residents and to continue to improve existing residential homes in neighborhoods and communities throughout St. Johns County.