This Department administers grants for the Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners. Programs include housing assistance and grants for Jefferson County Government programs and projects.
Lola Hightower, Housing Assistance Laison
Tyler McNeill, EEO
445 W. Palmer Mill Road
Monticello, Florida 32344
Phone: (850) 342-0175
Fax: (850) 342-0225
Grants and Programs
Down payment Assistance for First Time Homebuyers - Ship Program
Housing Repairs and Renovation - CDBG Program
Rental Assistance for Low Income Families - HUD
First-Time Home Buyer and Repairs Assistance - SHIP
The Jefferson County State Housing Initiatives Program (SHIP) receives an allocation of state funds each year for down payment and closing costs assistance and emergency repairs. This program is a result of the passing of the Sadowski Affordable Housing Act which was signed into law on July 7, 1992. The law created a permanent source of funding through the use of documentary stamp revenue. This program assists very low, low and moderate income persons with first-time home purchases, and very low and low income persons with home repairs.
Applicants for SHIP grants must meet state and county requirements regarding income level. Moderate and low income home buyers may receive grants equaling 5 percent of the mortgage plus allowable closing costs. Very low income applicants who may be awarded additional funds totaling not more than 10 percent of the mortgage plus allowable closing costs, if deemed necessary by the lender to close the transaction. Individual recipients must attend a mandatory home-buyer counseling session at which rules for the SHIP program are discussed. SHIP recipients must maintain income eligibility for six months following initial certification.
The repairs program assists qualified homeowners with up to $15,000 for repairs to existing structures.
For more information about this program, please contact Lola Hightower at (850) 342-0175.
Jefferson County CDBG Housing Program
The Florida Small Cities Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program provides grants to non-entitlement cities with populations less than 50,000 persons and counties with populations less than 200,000 persons to improve local housing, streets, utilities, and public facilities. The program is administered under four grant categories:
- neighborhood revitalization
- commercial revitalization
- economic development
Jefferson County has received a CDBG Housing Grant in the amount of $500,000. The housing grant will address substandard units and temporarily relocate households. These units will be brought up to Section 8 housing quality standards and/or local building codes.
Regulatory Requirements:Chapter 290, Florida Statutes, Rule Chapters 9B-43, Florida Administrative Code(F.A.C.), and Federal Rule 24 CFR Part 570.
Eligible Activities/Beneficiaries: Small Cities CDBG housing funds must be used to rehabilitate or reconstruct (demolish and replace) substandard housing for very low-income (50 percent or less of the area median income) or low-income (50.01 to 80 percent of the area median income) persons or households. Through the CDBG Program factors such as maintaining a Fair Housing Ordinance; establishing fair housing training programs for the general public and local professionals; and, performance on equal opportunity employment practices are furthered.
Application Process/Eligible Applicants: The application must meet the income guidelines and the structure guidelines of the program. For additional information about possible future funding opportunities, call the Jefferson County Grants Administration Office at (850) 342-0175.
Program Contact: Jefferson County Grants Administration, 445 W. Palmer Mill Road, Monticello, FL 32345; (850) 342-0175
Rental Assistance Program
The Jefferson County Section 8 Rental Assistance Program administers the Certificate or Rental Voucher Program, which pays a portion of housing rental fees for low-income families. The county Housing Authority (HA) enters into contractual relationships with three parties: U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the property owner, and the tenant.
The Housing Authority has four broad areas of responsibility. It:
- Certifies and recertifies tenants
- Approves housing quality standards and leases
- Issues Housing Assistance Payments to owner
- Monitors program performance and compliance with Federal, State and local rules
Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) now have the authority to deny occupancy to applicants on the basis of illegal drug-related activities and alcohol abuse, and to evict residents who are involved with such activities. It is important to note that an arrest or conviction is not necessary to trigger eviction. Residents on the lease are responsible for conduct of the entire household.
The new One-Strike drug policy authorizes PHAs to gain access to criminal records through the National Criminal Information Center (NCIC) database, which is managed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
For more information about this program please contact Lola Hightower at (850) 342-0175.
Jefferson County Does Business in Accordance
With The Federal Fair Housing Law
(Civil Rights Act of 1968, amended 1988 State Law (Statue 760.23 (1), Florida Statutes) and Local Ordinance)
It is illegal to Discriminate Against Any Person
Because of Race, Color, Religion, Sex,
Handicap, Familial Status, or National Origin
Under the Fair Housing Act, It is Against the Law to:
- Refuse to rent to you or sell you housing
- Tell you housing is unavailable when in fact it is available
- Show you apartments or homes in certain neighborhoods only
- Advertise housing to preferred groups of people only
- Refuse to provide you with information regarding different terms or conditions on a mortgage loan
- Deny you property insurance
- Conduct property appraisals in a discriminatory manner
- Refuse to make certain modifications or accommodations for persons with a mental or physical disability, including persons recovering from alcohol and substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS-related illnesses
- Fail to design and construct housing in an accessible manner
- Harass, coerce, intimidate, or interfere with anyone exercising or assisting, someone else with their fair housing rights
Anyone who feels he or she has been discriminated against may file a complaint of housing discrimination with any of the following:
1-800-669-9777 (Toll Free) 1-800-927-9275 (TTY)
Florida Commission on Human Relations
325 John Knox Road
Tallahassee, Florida 32303-4149
How to file a complaint:
Atlanta Regional Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO)
U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
Five Points Plaza, 40 Marietta Street, 16th Floor
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-2806
404-331-5140 or 1-800-440-8091
Housing Discrimination Information and Complaint Form