The top five assistance programs available now to improve housing in St. Petersburg.
There’s something for almost everyone! Whether a resident is looking to get into the housing market or improve their current home, there are grants and loans to help.
Housing Rehabilitation Assistance Program
0% interest rate loans are available to help homeowners in St Petersburg get rid of health or safety risks and get the dwelling up to code. This includes electrical, plumbing, and sewer issues or leaking roofs.
Grants of up to $3,000 are available for homeowners with disabilities who need ramps, chair lifts, wider doorways, grab bars, and other features to make the home accessible. For needs that top $3,000, there are interest-free loans of up to $15,000 to make a home accessible.
Grant funds are available to help people who need to repair their homes.
Qualifying rehabilitation categories are:
- Accessibility – grants and 0% interest loan
- Code Compliance – 0% interest loan
- Safety – 0% interest loan
- The person applying must own and occupy the residence
- The home’s value may not be over $311,980
- The homeowner’s income must be at or below 120% of Area Median Income (AMI)
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development defines AMI, and the metric is specific to St Petersburg’s geographic area.
- 0% interest rate
- 5,10 or 15-year loans
- Loan forgiveness is available after the borrower has made on-time monthly payments for 15 years
- Monthly payments based on household income
Purchase Assistance Program
People in the market to buy a home in St. Petersburg may be able to get a subordinate mortgage if their income matches eligibility. Subordinate mortgages are loans that are second in line with repayment priority, similar to a HELOC or equity loan. The homeowner’s primary mortgage remains in first place for repayment of the debt to the bank.
- Qualify for a primary mortgage and provide evidence of sufficient income to meet all expenses related to the home
- The subordinate mortgage loan caps out at $60,000
- The loan amount is calculated based on the agreed-upon sales price and closing costs
- The home’s sales price must stay below $349,525.80
- Loans are prioritized to grant to people whose household income is 80% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI calculated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Community Development for St. Pete.
- Attend first-time homebuyer educational training class
- The homebuyer must occupy the property for the duration of the loan
- 0% interest for ten years on 50% of the subordinate loan amount
- 50% forgiveness of the loan after ten years of using the home as the primary residence
- The buyer must receive a certificate of completion through a HUD-approved eight-hour housing counseling class
Homeowner Assistance Fund
Offers help to homeowners experiencing COVID-19-related hardships.
- Financial assistance to homeowners in Florida aimed at preventing foreclosure and possible homelessness
- Allowable uses of assistance fund money include mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, or utilities
- Applicants must already own the home, and it must be their primary residence
- Applicants must show a COVID-19-related hardship that started after January 1, 2020
- Household income may not be above 150% of the Area Median Income (AMI) or 100% of the U.S. Median income, whichever level is higher
- Determination of eligibility must be made on floridajobs.org/HAF before making an application for funds
- In the case of any federally-guaranteed mortgages, the foreclosure moratoriums are extended indefinitely
South St. Petersburg Housing-based Grants
This group of grants and loans aims to stimulate the creation of more affordable multifamily dwellings, help homeowners improve their property, including the facade, and make homeownership more affordable.
- Exterior and Interior home improvements
- Incentives are provided to promote the development of affordable housing in South St. Petersburg
- Different types of low-interest or forgivable loans to boost the development of more affordable housing
- Funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis
- Home improvement grants may equal up to 40% of eligible improvements
- Developers building affordable multifamily housing can receive a lump sum, per unit, based on the number of units being constructed
- The homeownership program is based on the household income
- Financial tools called CRAs offer opportunities to redevelop homes and targeted areas of the city
- Focus on 0% interest loans or forgivable loans
- Programs range from annual to 15-year durations
Solar & Energy Loan Fund
Homeowners in sunny St. Pete are encouraged to go green. There are very low-interest rate loans of up to $50,000 for making housing more environmentally friendly.
- The Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF) helps identify projects that will deliver lower utility bills and better quality of life in the home
- Funds for home storm preparedness improvements
- SELF helps groups organize solar installations known as solar co-ops
- Any homeowner in Florida may qualify
- SELF gives preference to women, veterans, and any low-and-moderate income homeowners
- Applicants can pre-qualify through SELF
- Interest rates as low as 5%
- No minimum credit score
- No income limits
Your home is likely the most significant investment you’ll make in your entire life. The programs offering grants and loans to improve homes and housing in general across all of St. Pete are available right now. Pre-qualifying and making applications to any of the programs are relatively simple.
And we’re here to help if you need it along the way.