Frequently Asked Questions
What is the State Housing Intiative Partnership (SHIP) Program?
The SHIP Program is an Indian River County sponsored program to provide loans to very-low, low, and moderate income persons to assist them in obtaining a home or rehabilitating their existing home.
Who can participate in the SHIP program?
Persons participating in the SHIP program must meet the following requirements:
- Income Level: A household's total annual gross income level must be classified as either very low, low, or moderate income. (Please see the chart for income levels.)
- Employment: At least one of the household members must currently be employed or have a source of annual income (including continuous employment, social security, or disability).
- Homebuyer Status: No member of the household shall have owned a home for at least three (3) years before being approved to receive a Purchase Assistance Loan from the LHAProgram.
- Assets: A household's total assets shall not exceed $20,000.00
- Credit Verification: An applicant shall have a satisfactory credit rating for at least the previous one (1) year.
- Price Limitations: Purchase prices for homes may not be higher than limits set by the LHAProgram.
What kind of assistance is available?
- Purchase Assistance Loans are available for the purchase of homes by very low, low, or moderate income households.
- Rehabilitation Loans are available for very low, low, and moderate income owner-occupied homes. Emergency Rehabilitation Loans are subject to a determination of emergency based upon inspection by a building official or the health department.
- Emergency Rehabilitation Loans are available for very low and low income owner-occupied homes. Emergency Rehabilitation Loans are subject to a determination of emergency based upon inspection by a building official or the health department.
- Impact Fee/Capacity Charges Loans are available to very low, low and moderate income owner-occupied homes (Impact Fee/Capacity Charges Loans are available to moderate income households only when in conjunction with a Purchase Assistance Loan).
- Disaster Mitigation Repair Loans are available for the repair of existing owner-occupied housing units to repair damages caused by a state or federally declared disaster. It is available to very low, low, or moderate income households.
How do I participate in the SHIP program?
Persons desiring to receive assistance from the SHIP program must submit a completed SHIP program application to the Indian River County SHIP Department.
Where can applications for the SHIP program be obtained?
Program applications may be obtained online at the SHIP website: www.ircgov.com/communitydevelopment/SHIP/ or at the following location:
Indian River County Planning Division
County Administration Building A
1801 27th Street, Vero Beach, Florida 32960
Phone: (772) 226-4344
Why should Indian River County participate in the SHIP program?
The costs to obtain or maintain housing are a significant problem for very-low, low, and moderate income residents of Indian River County. Initial costs, such as downpayments, closing costs, and impact fees, may create barriers for very-low, low, and moderate income persons buying homes. The maintenance and repair of existing homes is also a problem for very-low, low, and moderate income applicants, as improperly maintained houses may create a health and safety hazard to residents and the community. The decline of a home reduces the supply of homes available in the community and leads to higher costs for everyone.
The SHIP Program's goal is to provide monetary assistance to very low, low, and moderate income persons in order to eliminate or defer some of the up-front costs that these households must pay when obtaining or maintaining homes.
How will Indian River County's local SHIP program operate?
h.) The Program will operate on an annual basis. SHIP program applications are currently being accepted all year long. To utilize the SHIP funds, the county must meet following state requirements:
- At least 30% of funds must be utilized by very low income households
- At least 30% of funds must be utilized by low income households
- At least 65% of funds must be utilized for homeownership
- At least 75% of funds must be utilized for construction, rehabilitation, and emergency repairs.
Applications submitted will initially be reviewed by the county staff. Satisfactory applications will then be presented to Indian River County's Loan Review Committee (LRC) which will make the formal approval determination. Indian River County SHIP loans are deferred payment, low-interest loans. Repayment of the loan amount and applicable accrued interest is deferred until the house is sold, the home is no longer the applicant's primary residence, or the home is refinanced with cash-out. There is no monthly payment associated with a regular SHIP loan.
The interest rate for all loans granted under the local housing assistance plan is a three percent (3%) simple annual percentage rate.
Applicants approved for funding will be required to complete various activities (e.g. signing the county's promissory note and mortgage document, etc.) in order to finally receive the SHIP program funds.