Wednesday, March 18

Iowa City Announces Housing Program for Eligible Low and Moderate Income Families

This program was just announced and is for persons who lost housing due to last year's flood and/or are low to moderate income qualified homeowners.

Low and moderate income families, including those affected by the flood, and local builders received a shot in the arm with the announcement this week that the City of Iowa City is eligible for a new state program that will help replace housing that was lost during last summer's devastating flood. The "Single Family New Construction Unit Production Program," administered by the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED), will provide acquisition assistance (downpayment) funds for 15 to 17 homebuyers to help with the purchase of the newly constructed homes.

Program guidelines specify that the purchase price of the new homes be $180,000 or less, including the cost of the land and contractor profit. Single family detached homes, duplexes, zero-lot lines, row houses, condominiums and/or manufactured homes that are affixed to a permanent foundation all qualify for the program. The new homes must be built within the corporate limits of Iowa City, and must be completed and ready for occupancy by the end of the year.

Homebuyers, including people affected by the flood, who earn the area's median income or less and who qualify for the program, are eligible to receive up to 30% of the purchase price of the home to apply as a downpayment. The income guidelines are: for a one-person household, the median income (the maximum amount that applicants can earn per year) is $50,800; for two, $58,000; for three, $65,300; for four, $72,600; for five, $78,400; and for a household of six, $84,200.

The acquisition assistance will be set up as a 10-year forgivable loan. Homeowners who live in the home for 10 years or more will not need to repay the loan, but if they move before the 10-year term has expired, they'll be required to pay back a prorated amount. Application guidelines for residents who are interested in applying for the program have not yet been established. More information will be released at a later date and posted on the City's website after the process has been determined.

Area builders and developers who are interested in the project must submit construction proposals to the City of Iowa City by April 3, 2009. The City will then select proposals and submit an application to IDED by mid-April. More information, including program requirements, may be found on the City's website at

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