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Florida relaunches Hurricane Michael Recovery Loan Program to help those impacted by 2018 storm

Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle as a Category 5 storm on Oct. 10, 2018.
Credit: Chris O'Meara-Pool/Getty Images
Homes destroyed by Hurricane Michael are shown from the air October 11, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — On Oct. 10, 2018, Hurricane Michael slammed into Mexico Beach in the Florida Panhandle with wind speeds up to 160 mph.

NOAA's National Hurricane Center later said at landfall, the hurricane was a Category 5 storm, the first to hit the United States since Andrew in 1992. At least 45 people were killed and thousands of people lost their homes.

Nearly two years later, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the state is relaunching the Hurricane Michael Recovery Loan Program to continue assisting Floridians impacted by the storm. 

DeSantis said the program will provide $10 million in down payment assistance to Floridians in these counties:

  • Bay
  • Calhoun
  • Franklin
  • Gadsden
  • Gulf
  • Holmes
  • Jackson
  • Liberty
  • Taylor
  • Wakulla
  • Washington

The governor said the $10 million will help more than 660 families buy new homes.

"Florida Housing thanks Governor DeSantis and the legislature for providing these important housing resources," Executive Director Trey Price said. "We were very successful in allocating $5 million for down payment assistance here in 2019 for more than 335 households and are thrilled to see this relaunch effort to assist the area again."

The program is expected to launch Sept. 1 and will offer below-market 30-year fixed rate first mortgages with up to $15,000 in down payment and closing cost help for qualified Floridians. The state said the DPA loans will be zero percent interest, non-amortizing and forgivable at 20 percent per year over five years.

And, DeSantis said the DPA loan is fully forgivable if an active duty service member is officially reassigned and has to sell the home.

"I was proud to support this program last legislative session and pleased it was included in the state budget I signed in June," DeSantis said. "I'd like to thank our Northwest Florida legislative delegation for their efforts in getting this critical funding across the finish line for their constituents."

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