The purpose of Panama City’s Community Development department is
- Housing – to increase, preserve and improve housing that is affordable and livable and, to the extent possible, ensuring long-term affordability and contributing to neighborhood revitalization.
- Economy – to provide opportunities for a variety of economic activities in the City while continuing to reaffirm the economic goals of the citizens of Panama City - economic development in Panama City should serve the purpose of maintaining and improving the local quality of life, and
- Social and Human Services – to ensure that all people in Panama City live in safe, strong and caring communities. The City seeks to enhance the quality of life and promote self-reliance, growth and development of its citizens. To these ends, the City strives to provide resources and services to meet basic human needs.
Programs offered by the department include affordable home ownership opportunities for first-time home buyers. These programs offer second mortgage loans for down payment assistance and settlement costs for the purchase of any detached single-family home, townhouse or condominium within the City’s jurisdiction. Purchasers are required to contribute a minimum of $1,000 of their own funds toward the down payment and/or closing cost assistance. This program is funded with Federal and State monies and provides no-interest loans with repayment deferred for 30 years, or until the property is sold, whichever comes first.
In addition to down payment/closing cost assistance, Community Development provides home ownership counseling to applicants and potential applicants. This service is designed to increase understanding of the home buying process and to address applicants’ individual situations with respect to credit, budget and/or saving issues that may affect their home purchase. Also available is a home rehabilitation program that enables very low-, low- and moderate-income owner- occupants to correct code violations and structural problems, and to enhance the value and livability of their home. No-interest loans are available with repayment is deferred for 15 years, or until the property is sold, whichever comes first.
Besides addressing affordable housing issues, other Federal monies received are used to undertake infrastructure improvements benefiting low- to moderate-income citizens.
The City of Panama City Community Development office is seeking citizen comment on its Neighborhood Stabilization Program 3 application to the State Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO)/Department of Community Affairs (DCA). The program is aimed at preventing slum and blight within Panama City.
To download a .pdf of the application, please click the link in the Resources box above. Hard copies of the document are available at Community Development office at 2629 W. 10th Street, Panama City.
The After School Assistance Program (ASAP) offers learning opportunities to very low- to low-income youths and their families who are at-risk of educational failure and who have a need for a safe haven after school program. ASAP provides a full service, after the regular school day and during summer months, year-round program that operates from 2:00pm. to 6:00pm, Monday through Friday during regularly scheduled school months and 8:00am to 5:00pm during summer months. The program responds to the needs of our community, most specifically, the high rates of poverty, inability of working families to provide safe, quality-supervised and constructive activities for school-aged youths, single-parent households, youths placed with extended families due to the incarceration of one or both parents, behavioral concerns, minority isolation, health concerning obesity, drug abuse and violence, poor school attendance and academic under-achievement (greater than one year behind grade level).
The program provides safe, secure, supervised and cost-effective after school and summer care that advances the academic and educational skills of all participants and their families. Activities of the after school program include tutoring of basic life-skills to help students achieve mastery of Sunshine State Standards at the benchmark level, homework assistance, academic enrichment and prescriptive activities based on individual needs, readiness and language skills for early childhood students; age appropriate enrichment activities, such as art, music, nutrition, recreation, sports, technology and community experiences which are linked back to the youth’s regular curriculum. Parents and family members also benefit from opportunities to attend seminars addressing parenting skills, support groups, GED classes,
career awareness and counseling on employment skills and life-skills training. Speakers and materials are provided to teach proper nutrition, drug abuse resistance and violence prevention. Families also gain knowledge of technology and long distance learning through the use of the facilities’ computer center.
ASAP’s program is the only daily after school care program in the area providing services to the children in the community in which they live. ASAP is also the only after school program in the area operating and providing services through a partnership involving law enforcement, juvenile justice, school board, social services and community-based components. ASAP’s collaboration with local governments, as well as public and private community organizations and business partners endorse the program and often volunteer in implementing any available activities. These agencies also provide needed services in order to help the program succeed.
Application acceptance is based on funding availability. For more information about the application requirements for the City’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and the State Housing Initiative Partnership (SHIP) programs, visit or call our office.
The Comprehensive Plan is the document that defines the City’s long-range intentions regarding the nature and direction of future development. It contains elements on land use, transportation, community facilities, urban design and housing. Prepared every 5 to 10 years by the Planning Department, it reflects contributions from other City departments, public agencies and citizens. Adopted by the City Commission after a series of public hearings, the Comprehensive Plan establishes policy for evaluating choices about the physical development of the City.
The purpose of the housing element and input from the Community Development department is to provide objectives, goals and a policy framework that will guide future housing development and redevelopment to meet existing and forecasted housing needs and demands within Panama City. The needs of the local population must be considered so that future housing provides a range of housing opportunities for various groups and people of different income levels.
Copies of the Comprehensive Plan can be reviewed online by clicking the Publications link on the right or by visiting the Planning Department located on the 2nd floor of the City Hall building, 9 Harrison Avenue, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For additional information, please call (850) 872-3025.
In the City of Panama City, it is illegal to discriminate based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, the number and presence of children, age or physical handicap. Examples of discrimination are falsely denying that housing is available, discriminatory advertising, refusal to rent, and discrimination in the terms of the lease.
Any person who believes they are being discriminated against should file a complaint with the City's Department of Community Development.
A complaint may also be filed with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Hotline number is 1-800-669-9777.
Often times, repairs are not made when needed due to lack of personal funds and/or adequate Federal subsidy programs to assist families in despair. Panama City supports efforts to conserve, protect and rehabilitate housing by offering an Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation Program designed to assist households in restoring their existing homes to standard, livable conditions and to address major structural problems such as faulty roofs, bad wiring, plumbing problems, defective heating/cooling systems, etc.
The Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation program is intended for the very low-, low- to moderate-income households of Panama City and is extended to all applicants meeting the CDBG/SHIP program eligibility requirements. Loans are available in amounts up to $18,000 per property and are only open to owner-occupied units. Eligibility for assistance will be determined primarily by the applicant’s income and household size.
For more information, potential clients are invited to contact our office.