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Lee commissioners award state grants to affordable housing partners

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Lee County commissioners Tuesday awarded $2.96 million in 2021-22 State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) grant agreements to local partners for affordable housing.

The grants to nonprofit housing development organizations are for new construction and rehabilitation of rental housing units. The grants will provide assistance to 52 very low-income and 17 low-income households, including 52 households with special needs. Grant funds must be spent by Dec. 30, 2023.

The nonprofits and grants include $764,580 to Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties Inc. for the construction of 18 single-family houses for two very low and 16 low-income households with at least five houses for households with special needs. 

Lee County Human and Veteran Services will receive $400,000 for down payment and closing cost assistance for six very low-income households with priority for households with special needs. Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida will receive $345,556 for rental rehabilitation of 14 units at Country Cove Apartments in Lehigh Acres for very low income, developmentally disabled households; and $345,550 for rental rehabilitation of 14 units at The Pines Apartments in North Fort Myers for very low income, developmentally disabled households. 

Lee County Housing Development Corp. will receive $365,000 for the construction of six single-family houses for five very low-income households and one low-income household with at least five households with special needs, $325,000 for rehabilitation of five owner-occupied houses for very low-income households with at least two households with special needs, and $65,000 for down payment and closing cost assistance with homeowner rehab for one very low-income household with special needs. 

LARC Inc. will receive $205,970 for rental rehabilitation of a group home for six very low-income, developmentally disabled individuals, and the Center for Independent Living Gulf Coast was granted $145,000 for rehabilitation of five owner-occupied houses for very low-income households with special needs. 

Lee County has received funds from the SHIP program since 1999 for the provision of affordable housing. The SHIP program is funded by revenues collected by the state from a surcharge on documentary stamps and distributed to counties and local governments as grants. Distributions are made on a population-based formula through the Florida Housing Finance Corp., a state agency created to assist in providing a range of affordable housing opportunities. 

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