Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County serves as a voice for people in need of decent housing – people like Carol Barnett. After struggling in unpleasant and overpriced apartments – despite her full time salary – Carol became a homeowner through our program. We supported Carol through her journey thanks in part to funding received through the SHIP program (State Housing Initiatives Partnership). This funding goes toward Florida’s affordable housing programs, including the down payment assistance Carol used to purchase her home.

This June, however, the $225 million dollars allocated to SHIP was vetoed from Florida’s state budget. Carol recently shared her story with Spectrum News 13, bringing attention to the importance of SHIP.

But there is good news! Florida has directed $250 million in CARES Act funding to rental and mortgage assistance. Additionally, because the SHIP funding was vetoed and not cut from the budget, the money is still there in the Local Government Housing Trust Fund, where it will be held until the funds are allocated to specific programs.

This is where our Advocates can help. With housing stability weighing on many people’s minds right now, this is a great time to reach out to your representatives and ask for their support in the restoration of SHIP funding to the Florida state budget. With renewed access to SHIP funding, Habitat Orlando & Osceola can continue to aid Central Florida citizens like Carol on their way to the freedom of homeownership.

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