Affordable housing project off the ground

The Gazette, April 21, 1994
Council OK’s 15 homes for moderate-income families
By Lonnie Zingula
In its third try in a year’s time. Cedar Rapids finally may be tapping into a special housing projects fund to build homes for moderate-Income families.
The City Council on Wednesday approved two proposals to build a total of 15 homes, which will eventually be sold to families meeting federal Income eligibility requirements.
The Metro Area Housing Program (MAHP) will build 10 homes at various locations between now and August 1995. MAHP’s homes will sell for $70,000 to $72,000.
The remaining five homes will be built by Kvach Construction of Cedar Rapids and sold for $72,800. The quoted sale prices include a deduction of $4,340 per home provided as developers’ incentive through the city’s Affordable Housing Acquisition Assistance Program.
Qualified buyers will receive assistance through $103,500 set aside from the city’s federal allocation of Community Development Block Grant funds. Individual assistance Includes a 50 percent match up to $6,000 for a down payment and up to $900 per house for closing costs.
The program, which includes a mix of city, state and federal funds, was established for homes built on private property and meeting certain cost targets. The city will screen buyers selected by the developers to ensure they meet moderate-income guidelines. Under federal standards, a family of four could earn a maximum of $35,450 annually to qualify.
 “That’s not going to be a problem,” said Assistant Community Development Director Gary Hughes. “There’s definitely a market.”
 City officials originally hoped to generate construction of up to 40 homes, but a proposal to utilize the funds for a Lincolnway Village project was withdrawn last summer. The program was readvertised, but Kvach submitted the only bid, proposing construction of two homes.
The program was then revised to provide assistance for the construction and purchase of 15 homes. Three bids were submitted a week ago, with Kvach and MAHP offering the lowest sale prices.
L.W. Ltd. proposed sale prices ranging from $80,680 to $85,641, including developer incentives, for 15 modular homes In Llncolnway. Kvach and MAHP proposed building conventional “stick-bullt” homes.