Eastern Iowa Gets $1.5 Million for Affordable Housing

By George Ford, Reporter

George C. Ford/The Gazette


By Aaron Hepker

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The Iowa Finance Authority has awarded more than $7.5 million in grants to support affordable housing initiatives across Iowa, including $1.5 million for communities in Eastern Iowa.

The funding, approved this week by the IFA board of directors, is provided from the State Housing Trust Fund's Local Housing Trust Fund program.

The East Central Iowa Housing Trust Fund will receive $323,353 to assist an estimated 38 households in Benton, Iowa, Jones and Washington counties through eligible activities including demolition/clearance, development, reconstruction or rehabilitation for rental and owner-occupied housing.

The funds also can be used for home ownership assistance; rental assistance including security deposits and utilities and construction cost financing for transitional housing and housing or homeless shelters.

A total of $489,646 was approved for the Housing Fund for Linn County to assist an estimated 87 housing units for the same eligible activities in Linn County.

The Housing Trust Fund of Johnson County will receive $349,044. The grant will be incorporated into an existing revolving loan fund to support the development and preservation of affordable owner-occupied, rental, transitional and emergency shelter housing in Johnson County.

Businesses, individuals, non-profit organizations and governmental entities are eligible to apply for financing through the loan program. The grant will assist an estimated 25 affordable housing units in Johnson County.

The Iowa Northland Regional Housing Council Local Housing Trust Fund was approved for a $364,730 grant to assist an estimated 102 affordable housing units by partnering with local agencies in Black Hawk (excluding the cities of Waterloo and Cedar Falls), Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Chickasaw and Grundy counties.

The Waterloo Housing Trust Fund will use a $90,000 grant to assist approximately 148 housing units in Waterloo. The activities will include emergency shelter and transitional housing services, owner-occupied housing repairs and housing rehabilitation for accessibility improvements.

The State Housing Trust Fund was created by the Iowa Legislature in 2003. Since its inception, the program has provided $42 million in affordable housing assistance that has benefited more than 12,600 Iowa families. The state funds have leveraged another $147.5 million in other funds or $3.51 for every dollar of State Housing Trust Fund investment.

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