Homeownership In Rural Iowa

Homeownership In Rural Iowa

Roger Caudron, IFA Board Member, from Sioux City; Steven Adams, IFA Board Member, from Red Oak; Joe O’Hern, Director of the Iowa Fannie Mae Partnership Office, from Des Moines; Effie Lee Boggess, Iowa State Representative, from Clarinda; Greg Connell, Mayor of Shenandoah; Mary Schoen-Clark, President MAHP, from Cedar Rapids; and Mike Tramontina, IFA Executive Director, from Des Moines.

To support their efforts to thrive in the 21st Century, America’s rural communities need affordable housing, too. But the challenges can be even more complex than some faced in major metropolitan areas. Through HUD’s HOME Investment Partnership program, a well-conceived plan, and the help of players at the state, regional and local levels, the rural Iowa communities of Corning, Shenandoah and Belle Plaine are charting a course to a brighter future.

The seeds of one successful program in the City of Shenandoah took root last March when MidAmerica Housing Partnership (MAHP), located in Cedar Rapids, received more than $340,000 in HOME funds. The funds were awarded for a homeownership program, to be used as principal reduction mortgages (purchase money mortgages) for buyers with incomes at or below 80% of the area median income.

MAHP and the City of Shenandoah officially launched their partnership last November with a plan to build 6 units of single family housing on lots cleared by the city (this is part of an overall neighborhood revitalization effort that focuses on razing dilapidated housing in targeted neighborhoods). The City of Shenandoah also received a Local Housing Assistance Program grant from the Iowa Department of Economic Development to provide incentives to builders for infill construction. Contractors can receive up to $15,000 to be used for land acquisition, site preparation, down payment/closing cost assistance, and more. MAHP will use the HOME grant to buy the lots and pass on the savings to qualified buyers in the form of closing cost assistance. In addition to demolition and new construction, another partner, the Southwest Iowa Planning Commission, is administering an owner-occupied rehabilitation program for Shenandoah.

Content Archived: August 17, 2011