Palo to start Low to Moderate Income Housing program after finding funding

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 5:12 AM CDT
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PALO, Iowa (KCRG) - The city of Palo plans to start using revenue from TIF projects to help low to moderate-income families make home repairs.

When a city decides to make a TIF designated area, it needs to set money aside for this use.

Palo’s funding has been unused for 10 years and has grown to over $400,000. The first round of funding the city plans to make available is $250,000. People can apply for up to $15,000 to make exterior repairs as well as efficiency upgrades.

“$15,000 is pretty significant,” said Mark Culver, the Housing Specialist for the Eastern Central Iowa Council of Government. “We can do a lot with that.”

The nonprofit will help to disperse the first round of funding to those who qualify. Culver, specifically, will be working with families to decide what repairs should be made as well as walking them through discussions with contracts. Culver said small towns oftentimes wait to spend this money until there is enough to do something meaningful, but $400,000 is unusual.

“For a small community, it is certainly a large investment in their community housing,” he said.

City leaders said they learned of the funding last year while working with a capital improvement expert in 2020. Having sat for what the city believes to be about 10-years, they say it is time to put it to work.

“It’s not very common that a community would have this TIF money to do this for that many properties,” Culver said. “15 properties is a large amount.”

The city hopes to continue the program next year with the additional funds.

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