Find answers to common questions
1. I’m considering filling out an application but am not sure if I qualify for assistance. How can I quickly determine if I meet the income and program requirements?
Take this short Housing Assistance Survey to understand if you meet basic requirements and if this program is right for you. If you meet initial qualifications based on self-reported information, the next step is to fill out an online application. This phased application structure helps speed up the process of determining whether or not you qualify for the ReHouse Bay program, saving you from gathering and submitting documentation if this program isn’t right for you.
2. Whose income must be included when determining if my household meets the requirements for this program?
The annual gross income of everyone who lives in your home must be counted. This includes those with full-time and part-time employment, those who are self-employed and those who receive assistance, etc. Gross household income includes fixed income sources like pensions, social security, supplemental security or disability income, child support, and/or income from other sources like real estate. All income sources will be verified during the application process.
3. I have already filled out an application for assistance at City Hall in Panama City for housing assistance through the SHIP program. Is this program different? Do I need to fill out a new application?
No, you do not have to fill out a new application if you are already receiving the assistance you need through the SHIP Program or working with the Panama City Community Development Office.
4. How is ReHouse Bay different than the assistance that is offered at the Community Resource Center?
ReHouse Bay focuses solely on meeting housing needs for qualified applicants. The Community Resource Center addresses a broad range of needs for Hurricane Michael survivors. The Community Resource Center may refer qualified applicants to ReHouse Bay, or connect residents with a Disaster Case Manager to support them in finding appropriate resources to support their individual recovery needs.
5. If I didn’t have homeowner’s insurance when Hurricane Michael made landfall, can I still qualify for assistance from ReHouse Bay to repair my home?
Yes. ReHouse Bay is designed to help Bay County residents who still need assistance making repairs to their homes. However, by accepting assistance from ReHouse Bay, homeowners will be required to meet insurance requirements defined by the program.
6. I received some funding through my insurance company to make repairs on my home, but it wasn’t enough to cover the costs of the damage. Can ReHouse Bay provide additional funding to complete the repairs to my home?
Possibly. ReHouse Bay cannot duplicate funding already received for the same purpose, like from FEMA, SBA, Insurance, or some other social service assistance, but it may be able to supplement funding for necessary repairs in certain cases. ReHouse Bay requires applicants provide documentation of all other funding received by applicants, which will be reviewed during the application process.
7. If I live in a mobile home, can I still qualify for assistance from ReHouse Bay to repair my home?
Yes. ReHouse Bay can help mobile homeowners repair or replace their homes damaged by Hurricane Michael. However, any mobile home built more than five years ago – with total repair costs exceeding $15,000 – must be replaced in its entirety. Where possible, ReHouse Bay will replace mobile homes that exceed this threshold with site-built or modular homes, to meet local rules and regulations regarding new mobile homes.
8. I’ve found a home that I’d like to make an offer on now. How long will it take me to get approved for first-time homebuyer assistance through ReHouse Bay?
ReHouse Bay requires application review, income qualification, and inspection and approval of homes purchased through this program. Assistance is structured as a second mortgage on the home you are purchasing. It is recommended that you request assistance on this program before or during the search for your new home, as this program is designed as a first-come, first-qualified, first served program. Applicants will also be required to secure primary financing for the purchase of their home, so it is encouraged to get pre-approved for a loan during the process, as well. First-time homebuyers will also be required to participate in a first-time homebuyer class as part of this assistance. This process can take several weeks or longer for applicants who may have issues with pre-existing debt or poor credit.
9. I am not currently a resident of Bay County but would like to move to Bay County. Will I qualify for the first-time homebuyer program through ReHouse Bay?
Yes. ReHouse Bay is intended to retain the current population of Bay County and address housing needs of those who may be moving to the County that may need some additional assistance to purchase a home.
10. Much of the assistance offered through ReHouse Bay is structured as a loan or mortgage. Does this mean I will incur a new monthly payment on this loan?
No. The loans provided through ReHouse Bay are deferred loans for a set period with 0% interest and no payments. If a homeowner remains in the home throughout the duration of the loan period, it is forgiven. However, if the homeowner passes away, refinances, sells the home, or the home is foreclosed on during the duration of the loan period, the loan will be subject to repayment requirements.