116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity, the nonprofit’s Cedar Rapids based affiliate, was awarded $1,549,208 Thursday by Gov. Kim Reynolds as part of the Iowa Home Grant Program.
The money will be used to build six houses that will be offered as part of the organization’s Homeownership Program, which helps low- and middle-income families in Linn and Benton counties become homeowners.
The requirements for the program state that a family must earn more than 30 percent and less than 60 percent of the median income in their county based on family size. In Linn County, the income for a family of four must be between $27,750 and $53,640. In Benton County, the range is $27,750 to $54,000.
Applicants for the program must also have a demonstrated need for housing — determined based on a variety of factors including the condition of current housing, space consideration and cost burden. They must also have a stable, verified income that they’ve had for at least one year, to support monthly mortgage payments.
The nonprofit worked with the larger Habitat for Humanity of Iowa to apply for the grant a few months ago, along with several other Habitat for Humanity affiliates in the state. In total, nearly $20 million was awarded Thursday to 16 different organizations, 12 of which are Habitat for Humanity affiliates, according to a news release from Reynolds’ office.
The amounts awarded to individual organizations ranged from $241,294 for the city of Dewitt, to $1,809,000 to the Muscatine Center for Social Action.
The grant “was created as part of Gov. Reynolds’ $100 million investment to increase the supply of housing options and protect and expand housing opportunities for Iowans to live in or near the communities where they work,” the news release states.
The investment was funded using money from the federal American Rescue Plan Act and State and Local Fiscal Relief Funds.
Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity does not have specific plans outlined for the six new houses it will build, but now that funding is secured, the search for available property will begin. Brittany Scanlon, executive director of Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity, said $1.5 million should cover the entirety of the cost of the houses.
“It’s a lot of funding, and six houses is quite a few houses to be building, so we wanted to wait to get the word if we received the grant funding first before we would go ahead and secure any lots or materials or anything of that nature,” Scanlon said.
One of the requirements of the grant is that the funding has to be used before 2026, Scanlon said. The nonprofit has already worked out a tentative construction schedule for the next few years, to make sure the houses can be completed in time without conflicting with other projects that are already planned.
“We know that homeownership is the leading driver of wealth creation,” Reynolds said in the news release, adding that the Iowa Home Grant funding will “assist many Iowan families in opening the door to homeownership, upward economic mobility and the ability to live in the communities where they work.”
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