The City of Port St. Lucie Neighborhood Services Department will be accepting applications from families who are interested in purchasing a home through the State Housing Initiative Partnership (SHIP) Program and who meet the requirements for “Essential Service Personnel,” which is defined as “ Teachers, educators, other school district employees, community college employees and university employees; police and fire personnel; healthcare personnel; skilled building trades personnel; government personnel and active military personnel. “ Applications will be available for one (1) week period ONLY, starting May 7, 2018, thru May 11, 2018, all applications must be returned by appointment only no later than May 21, 2018. Any unselected applications will be canceled when all funds have been committed. The City of Port St Lucie has set aside $200,000 for the Down Payment Program and will offer a  maximum of $20,000 per household for down payment and closing cost assistance. If you are interested in purchasing a home in the City of Port St. Lucie, you may be eligible for financial assistance through the SHIP program. Deferred, interest-free mortgages are available for those who need funds for home purchase assistance. In order to qualify, you cannot currently own a home when you apply, the home must be your primary residence, you must contribute a minimum of $500 of your own funds towards the purchase of the home and you must be able to qualify for a first mortgage with a lender approved by the City of Port St. Lucie.