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Jackson County Housing board gets new members

Jackson County Housing board gets new members

As Jackson County government heads toward a new fiscal year starting in October, it has some fresh faces on the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee (AHAC), which works with the county housing grants coordinator, the Emerald Coast Regional Council and the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program.

The members of the AHAC are volunteers “who actively seek ways to improve, encourage and facilitate affordable housing throughout the county,” according to the county’s website summary regarding the group.

Jackson County Commissioner Eric Hill and four others were newly appointed to that board in late May. The AHAC committee must include individuals that represent the residential home building industry, the banking/mortgage-lending industry, a party engaged in the labor of home building, a advocate for low-income people, providers of affordable housing in both the for-profit and non-for-profit sectors, real estate professionals in connection with affordable housing, a local planning committee member, a person that lives in the jurisdiction, a citizen who represents employers, and an elected official.

Anita Halling, of the North Florida Inland Long Term Recovery Group, is another new member. She serves in the slot reserved for an advocate for low-income persons.

Mike Ubias comes on board from USDA Rural Development and serves in a slot reserved for a baking or mortgage lending industry representative.

The Rev. Michael Jones, of Trinity Powerhouse Church, serves as a citizen residing in the jurisdiction.

Coba Beasley, of the Chipola Baptist Association, represents as the not-for-profit provider of affordable housing.

Those five joined six already serving: Debbie Moxley, of First Federal Bank of Florida, represents the banking or mortgage lending industry; Gerald Gause, of U.S. Mobile Homes Sales of Florida Inc., serves in a slot reserved for a representative engaged in the labor of home building; Joelle Roberts, of Florida Showcase Realty, represents the slot reserved for for-profit providers of affordable housing; Jan Poller serves as the representative of the Jackson County Planning Commission; Kenny Griffin, of Chipola Regional Workforce Development, serves as a citizen representing employers; and Ladon Clemmons, of Indian Springs Real Estate, serves as a citizen residing in the jurisdiction.

The board is scheduled to meet this year at 4 p.m. on Aug. 27, Sept. 24, Oct. 22, and Nov. 19.The meetings are public and can be attended remotely through Zoom. Contact the Jackson County SHIP Program Office at 850-482-9803 or visit jacksoncountyfl.gov.

Community Development Director Wendy Schlesinger reflected recently on the importance of SHIP and another housing assistance program getting underway as the community continues to recovery from two-year-old Hurricane Michael and struggles with COVID-19.

“The two-year anniversary of Hurricane Michael is nearing and as we go through the current pandemic, Jackson County is able to assist very low to moderate income households to assist in their housing needs,” she commented.

“Housing assistance looks bright for our future. In addition to SHIP, we have the sister program, the Hurricane Housing Recovery Program (HHRP). We are now beginning to provide home replacement for many families that lost their homes due to the storm. Very soon the county hopes to provide relief with rental payments, mortgage payments, and home repairs through the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act.”

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