STATE HOUSING INITIATIVE PROGRAM (SHIP)
The Florida Housing Finace Agency administers the State Housing Initiatives Partnership program (SHIP), which provides funds to local governments as an incentive to create partnerships that produce and preserve affordable homeownership and multifamily housing. The program was designed to serve very low, low and moderate income families. Funding for this program was established by the passage of the 1992 William E. Sadowski Affordable Housing Act. Funds are allocated to local governments each month on a population-based formula. These funds are derived from the collection of documentary stamp tax revenues, which are deposited into the Local Government Housing Trust Fund. Total actual disbursements are dependent upon these documentary stamp collections.
SHIP funds are distributed on an entitlement basis to all 67 counties and 50 Community Development Block Grant entitlement cities in Florida. Annually, the City of Miami Beach receives approximately $500,00 in SHIP funds. Individuals, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit developers must apply to local government for funding. The City of Miami Beach awards and distributes its SHIP funds utilizing established selection criteria via a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) as established in the Local Housing Assistance Plan.
SHIP funds may be used for emergency repairs, new construction, rehabilitation, down payment and closing cost assistance, construction and gap financing, mortgage buy-downs, acquisition of property for affordable housing, special needs housing, home ownership counseling and match for federal housing loans and grants. A minimum of 65 percent of a local government's total annual distribution of SHIP funds must be used for home ownership. A minimum of 75 percent of a local government's total annual distribution of SHIP funds must be used for construction-related activities, including rehabilitation, new construction, emergency repairs, or financing for a newly constructed or rehabilitated unit. At least 30 percent of a local government's total annual distribution of SHIP funds must be reserved for awards to very low-income persons (50% of area median income, or AMI), and an additional 30 percent of funds must be awarded to low-income persons (80% AMI). The remainder may serve any combination of very low, low or moderate-income persons (120% AMI).