‘Affordable’ house open for public viewing

Metro Area Housing Program, task force plan more homes and duplexes in Central City

Gazette staff report

The Gazette, Aug. 13, 1997

CENTRAL CITY — An open house today will mark the completion of the first of three affordable houses being built here by the Central City Task Force and the Metro Area Housing Program.

The open house, at 129 Broadway St., will be from 4 to 7 p.m. with a ribbon cutting at 5:30. The three-bedroom ranch homes sell for $80,000, which is $8,000 below the median price of homes in the Midwest, according to a recent survey by the Census Bureau. The median price means half the homes sold for more and half sold for less during the period.

Affordable housing was identified as a community need at a 1996 meeting of residents and the school board, and a task force was formed, with Karla Hogan, Deb Klein, John Maurice, Ron Phlughaupt, Bob Vollbrecht and Tim Walker as members.

The task force formed a partnership with Metro Area Housing Program to build the homes, provide pre-purchase education and identify funding.

Metro Area Housing Program, a non-profit housing development corporation, received a grant from the Iowa Department of Economic Development that provides up to $24,999 in forgivable soft second mortgages.

In addition, the City Council allocated $2,000 and the Fannie Mae Foundation, $2,500, for the project. Construction financing was provided by City State Bank.

Home buyers were required to complete eight hours of pre-purchase training and invest 3 percent of the price of the home.

City State Bank has provided mortgages for two buyers. The third was financed through Norwest Mortgages.

As the groups celebrate the completion of the first project, plans are under way for five duplexes. The Central City project is Metro Area Housing Program’s first venture outside the metropolitan area.

The agency, organized in 1992, has created 200 units of both rental and home ownership housing in Cedar Rapids.

Any community interested in affordable housing should call Metro Area Housing Project at 365-3501.