Housing trust gets state money

$275,529 awarded for Webster, Hamilton counties

A trust fund that helps low- and moderate-income residents of Hamilton and Webster counties fix up their homes has received $275,529 from the state government.

The money for the Heart of Iowa Regional Housing Trust Fund was announced Wednesday by the Iowa Finance Authority.

That money will be used by the trust fund to make forgivable loans of up to $10,000 for things like replacing roofs.

The funds will be put to use quickly, according to Fort Dodge City Councilman Kim Alstott, the city’s representative to the trust.

”We have people lined up,” he said.

He said that if people stay in the home where the work was completed for five years or more, the loan is completely forgiven.

The Heart of Iowa Regional Housing Trust Fund was established in late 2018 and began providing loans in early 2019.

As of last October, it had invested $1,104,170 in homes in the two counties.

That money financed 22 projects in Webster County, with all but four of those being in Fort Dodge. The money financed 15 projects in Hamilton County.

Roofing and gutter work accounts for many of those projects. Trust fund money has also paid for window replacements, furnace and air conditioner replacements, new doors, electrical service repairs, retaining walls, flooring, insulation and remodeling bathrooms to make them handicapped accessible.

The trust fund uses money from government and private sources to provide financial help to people who own a single family home and make up to 80 percent of the area median income. Priority is given to those whose income is at or below 30 percent of area median income, those with disabilities and those who are 62 or older.

The assistance isn’t exactly a handout. The money comes in the form of loans to the homeowners. They are five-year interest free loans that will be forgiven for those who stay for at least five years in the home where the money was invested.


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