Indian River County Florida
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the State Housing Intiative Partnership (SHIP) Program?

The SHIP program is a County sponsored program to provide grants or loans to low 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. (including having been continuously employed

  • 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.

  • Homebuyer Status. No member of household shall have owned a home for at least three (3) years before being approved to receive downpayment/closing cost assistance from the LHAProgram.

  • Price/Rent Limitations. Purchase prices for homes and rental rates for rental housing may not be higher than limits set by the LHAProgram.
What kind of assistance is available?
  1. Impact Fee Grants are available to eligible very low income persons for connections of existing owner-occupied homes to

  2. Impact Fee Loans are available to very low, low and mderate

  3. Rehabilitation Grants are available for very low income owner-occupied homes.

  4. Rehabilitation Loans are available for very low, low, and moderate income owner-occupied homes. Rehabilitation Loans are available moderate income households only in conjunction with a Downpayment/Closing Cost Loan.

  5. Downpayment/Closing Cost Loans are available for the purchase of homes by very low, low, or moderate income persons.

  6. Land Acquisition Loans are available for non-profit groups for the purchase of land to build owner-occupied homes for very low and low income persons.
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 Planning Department.

Where can applications for the SHIP program be obtained?
Program applications may be obtained at the following location:
Indian River County Planning Division (County Administration Building)
1801 27th Street Vero Beach, Florida 32960
Phone: (772) 226-1594 or (772) 226-1923

Why should Indian River County participate in the SHIP program?
The costs to obtain or maintain housing are a significant problem for low income residents of Indian River County. Initial costs, such as downpayments, closing costs, and impact fees, may create barriers for low income persons buying homes. The maintenance and repair of existing homes is also a problem in the County, 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 persons must pay when obtaining or maintaining homes.

How will Indian River County's local SHIP program operate?
The Program will operate on an annual basis. SHIP program applications will generally be accepted during the last 3 weeks of July.  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 county staff. Satisfactory applications will then be presented to the County's Loan Review Committee (LRC) which will make the formal determination of approval for submitted SHIP program applications.
The county's loans are deferred low-interest loans. Repayment of the loan amount and applicable accrued interest is deferred until the house is sold, no longer the applicants 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 five percent (5%) simple annual percentage rate for moderate income households for a period of 20 years.  If the applicant is still living in the assisted home after 20 years, the interest will be forgiven and just the principal loan amount will remain with the assisted property.  For very low and low income households there is a three percent (3%) simple annual interest rate.  The interest will be forgiven if the applicant is still living in the home after a period of 10 years, but the principal loan amount will remain with the assisted property.

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