Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Local News

December 11, 2012

IFA awards nearly $5.5 million to spur housing

DES MOINES — The Iowa Finance Authority Board of Directors recently approved a total of more than $5.4 million in grants to 25 Local Housing Trust Funds to move local affordable housing projects forward. The grants will aid in the development and preservation of nearly 2,000 affordable housing units throughout the state.

“The Local Housing Trust Fund program is evidence of successful public, private partnerships at work all throughout the state,” said Iowa Finance Authority Executive Director Dave Jamison. “The grants announced today will provide nearly $5.5 million in funding and leverage an additional $6 million in local contributions to assist 25 Local Housing Trust Funds in moving housing priorities forward and ultimately supporting safe and thriving neighborhoods for Iowa families to work, live and play.”

The grant funds will be used for initiatives such as subsidizing local down payment assistance programs, providing low-interest loans or grants to assist Iowans in home rehabilitation, financing construction of new single-family housing for low-income Iowans, supporting transitional housing programs as well as homeless assistance and prevention.

The State Housing Trust Fund was created by the Iowa Legislature in 2003. Since its inception, the program has provided $34.5 million in affordable housing assistance to more than 10,800 Iowa families, and has leveraged another $139.5 million in other funds.

The SHTF helps ensure decent, safe and affordable housing for Iowans through two important programs. The Local Housing Trust Fund Program receives at least 60 percent of the SHTF allocation to provide grants for local housing trust funds. The remaining funds go to the Project-Based Housing Program that aids in the development of single-family and multifamily housing. The Iowa Finance Authority administers both programs and provides technical assistance to housing-related organizations.

The Iowa Legislature created the Iowa Finance Authority, the state’s housing finance agency, in 1975 to undertake programs to assist in the attainment of housing for low and moderate-income Iowans.

 One FY 2013 State Housing Trust Fund – Local Housing Trust Fund Program Grant award went to Chariton Valley Regional Housing Trust Fund, Inc. in the amount of  $212,431.

This grant will focus on providing assistance to improve single-family and multifamily housing options for approximately 40 households in the region, and provide for the removal of blighted properties for future housing development. Owner-occupied housing rehabilitation will continue to be an eligible activity. The area served is Appanoose, Lucas, Monroe and Wayne counties. Contact Jennifer Appler at (641) 856-2173 x222 for more information.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about building code compliance. One Centerville resident at Monday's City Council meeting proposed the city create two new positions in the police department to only deal with minimum housing and nuisance abatement issues. The city currently has George Johnson as the only employee assigned to enforce building code compliance issues. Does Centerville need more than just Johnson to enforce code compliance issues? So, the question of the week is, "Should Centerville hire additional help to assist George Johnson enforce building code compliance issues?"

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