Home Ownership Assistance

There’s concern from a local county official about a housing program designed to help low-income families, saying those who really need it are not being reached.

Cassandra Cason is searching for a home to buy. She says finding one she likes and can afford is difficult.

Cassandra says, "The rates are going up so high. I want to get into a home while I can still afford one, I hope. Now I'm getting older and you just hope for security and a place to call home, your own."

Cason didn't know about Florida's State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program. SHIP provides funds to local governments to preserve affordable home ownership and multi-family housing.

Suwannee County Commissioner Douglas Udell says locally, the program that's designed for the poor can be misused.

Douglas says, "With the inflationary rate of property in Suwannee County they can keep that property for just a few years and may be able to even double their money. That's not the design of the SHIP program."

Representatives from SHIP were not available for this story, but Commissioner Udell says because it is a good program he only wishes more people knew about it.

"I think it's a lack of people being educated about the SHIP program. It's a lack of public knowledge in my opinion."

Commissioner Udell says if more people were informed, SHIP could make a positive difference in helping the poor communities.

To see if SHIP can help you buy your own home call the Suwannee River Economic Council at 386-362-4115 or go to www.floridahousing.org.