Escambia County and Pensacola Habitat for Humanity hosted a ribbon cutting Tuesday, May 9 for the first replacement house in the town of Century completed under the State Housing Initiatives Partnership, or SHIP, Program. The event took place at the newly-built home, located at 621 Hecker Road.
The new house replaces one destroyed by the Feb. 15, 2016 tornado, which severely damaged or destroyed many Century area homes. District 5 Commissioner Steven Barry and Century Mayor Henry Hawkins gave remarks at the ribbon cutting, along with the homeowner Eddie Hammond and Pensacola Habitat for Humanity Chief Operating Officer Hal Major.
Escambia County has completed three replacement houses under SHIP with Habitat/Northwest Florida Community Housing Development Corporation Inc., with seven more in progress. Additionally, four more homes are being completed through funding provided through the Escambia County Housing Finance Authority. Habitat was able to leverage SHIP dollars with Community Contribution Tax Credit Funding and volunteer labor to complete the housing units.
For more information, please contact the Escambia County Neighborhood Enterprise Division at 850-595-0022.
After the tornado, the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners entered into an agreement with Northwest Florida Community Housing Development Corporation Inc. to provide up to $50,000 in SHIP disaster funding per property to help fund replacement housing for eligible homeowners.
Additionally, NFCHDC partnered with the Escambia County Housing Finance Authority to provide replacement housing for tornado survivors who could not qualify under the SHIP program.
This project is a significant collaboration between Escambia County, the town of Century, Legal Services of North Florida, the Escambia County Housing Finance Authority, the Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies, NFCHDC, World Renew, United Way, Pensacola Habitat for Humanity and many other volunteer organizations. These agencies have collectively provided financing, facilitated applicant intake, served as the case managers, worked on legal issues to help owners gain a clear title and provide construction oversight and labor.
Before photo of the tornado-damaged home at 621 Hecker Road in Century.