Panama City Housing Assistance (SHIP Program)

In the wake of Hurricane Michael, the Florida Legislature appropriated funding to the City of Panama City to address unmet housing needs through the Hurricane Housing Recovery program (HHRP) and the State Housing Incentive Partnership (SHIP). The City's Community Development Team is working quickly and efficiently to assist people seeking housing assistance within the city limits of Panama City, Florida. 

The City has funding available for a variety of programs and is currently accepting applications.

Program funding is limited to qualified applicants. Each program has specific requirements (like household income) that must be met before funding is awarded. If funding becomes limited, eligible applicants may be placed on a waiting list until additional funding is available. All programs are based on a “first qualified, first served” basis.

To apply for assistance, please complete the online application or call the Community Development Department at (850) 872-7230.

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  1. Community Development


    Physical Address
    501 Harrison Avenue
    Room 206
    Panama City, FL 32401

    Phone: (850) 872-7230
    Fax: (850) 747-5939


Programs Offered


Purchase Assistance (First-Time Homebuyers)

The First-Time Homebuyers Program helps current and future Panama City residents purchase affordable homes. The program provides up to $50,000 to eligible individuals and families to lower up-front costs (like down payment and closing costs) and keep mortgage payments affordable. In addition to funding, program participants will also receive first-time homebuyer counseling. Financing is distributed as a second mortgage on purchased homes that:

  • Are located in Panama City, Florida;
  • Pass standard home inspections; and
  • Do not exceed a sale price of $300,000 (effective October 1, 2022); and
  • Select an eligible property type including single family, townhouse, condominium, one side of a duplex that will be owner-occupied, or mobile home built after July 1994.

To participate in the First-Time Homebuyers' Program, eligible applicants must:

  • Submit a completed application;
  • Complete a first-time homebuyer course offered by a Certified HUD-Approved Counseling Agency before closing on a home;
  • Obtain pre-approval from a mortgage lender;
  • Not have purchased or owned a home within the last 3 years;
  • Not exceed income limits for their household size (see income limit table below);
  • Prepare and gather all required documentation identified on the Purchase Assistance Program Documentation Checklist.

Housing Repair and Recovery Program (Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation)

The Housing Repair and Recovery Program can provide funding to repair homes with substantial damage or demolish and reconstruct eligible homes. After an applicant qualifies for the program, the program will complete a home inspection to confirm damages, develop a construction plan, and partner with contractors and builders to repair the home.

Program financing is distributed as a second mortgage on repaired or reconstructed homes that are:

  • Located in Panama City, Florida; and
  • The applicant’s primary residence.

The program cannot:

  • Reimburse for repairs that have already occurred; or
  • Offer additional assistance for repairs already funded by some other source, like FEMA, SBA, or private insurance company.

Eligible applicants must:

  • Confirm that this home is their primary residence
  • Demonstrate that they own the property (verified through a title search);
  • Not exceed income limits for their household size, (see income limit table below);
  • Provide documentation of any funding or benefits received from FEMA, the Small Business Administration (SBA), Insurance, or other social assistance (verified during the program qualification process); and
  • Submit a complete application.

Homeless Prevention and Rental Assistance

The Homeless Prevention and Rental Assistance Program can provide short-term rental assistance to eligible applicants in Panama City, Florida. There are three forms of rental assistance made available to income-eligible applicants:

  • Rental, security, and utility deposits payments on a newly leased rental property. The program will pay the landlord and utility company directly.
    • To qualify, household income must not exceed 120% AMI (refer to income limit table below).
  • Eviction prevention payments for applicants that are no more than six (6) months past-due on rent payments, including late fees.
    • To qualify, household income must not exceed 80% AMI (refer to income limit table below).
  • Rent subsidy payments for applicants who are homeless.
    • To qualify, household income must not exceed 50% AMI (refer to income limit table below).

Financing is distributed as a one-time grant to applicants that:

  • Are seeking affordable rental properties located in Panama City, Florida;
  • Have recently signed a one-year (or longer term) rental lease agreement;
  • Have not received rental assistance from SHIP-funded programs within the last three (3) years; and
  • Submit a complete application.

Foreclosure Prevention and Short-Term Mortgage Assistance

If you are a survivor of Hurricane Michael and are facing a income-related hardship that has resulted in difficulty paying your mortgage, the Foreclosure Prevention and Short-Term Mortgage Assistance Program may be able to help. Eligible applicants must be able to demonstrate hardship; staff will verify this when reviewing the application for assistance. Program financing is distributed as a short-term loan for applicants that:

  • Own a home located in Panama City, Florida;
  • Can confirm that this home is their primary residence
  • Can demonstrate that they are the owners of the property (verified through a title search);
  • Can demonstrate sustainable income, but do not exceed income limits for their household size (see income limit table below);
  • Are no less than three (3) months or no more than $10,000 past-due on their mortgage payments; and
  • Submit a complete application.

Impact fee Assistance

The Impact Fee Assistance Program may be able to help eligible applicants* fund impact fees (like sewer or water connection fees) on some properties. Program financing is distributed as a short-term loan for applicants that:

  • Own a home or are building a home in Panama City, Florida;
  • Can confirm that this home is or will be their primary residence;
  • Can demonstrate that they are or will be the owners of the property (verified through a title search);
  • Can demonstrate sustainable income, but do not exceed income limits for their household size (see income limit table below); and
  • Submit a complete application.

*Note: this program may also be available to developers that are building houses that meet affordable housing criteria.

Other programs include Disaster Assistance, Emergency Assistance Repair, New Construction / Infill Development and Special Needs.


Income Eligibility Guide

Find the number of people in your household on the top row (1 – 8+). If your household’s combined gross income* is within the income range listed below your household size (found in the second row), you may qualify for assistance.

Household SizePercentage Category12345678910
Bay County / Panama City30%15,80018,31023,03027,75032,47037,19041,91046,630Refer to HUDRefer to Hud

50%26,30030,05033,80037,55040,60043,60046,60049,60052,57055,574

80%42,10048,10054,10060,10064,95069,75074,55079,35084,11288,918

120%63,12072,12081,12090,12097,440104,640111,840119,040126,68133,378

140%73,64084,14094,640105,140113,680122,080130,480138,880147,196155,607


Median: $78,100

*combined income includes ALL pre-tax income for individuals 18 years or older living in your home, including full-time, part-time, or overtime salary, social security, supplemental security, or disability income, pension(s), VA benefits, child support, etc.