Letters to the Editor

Applauding Overland's work improving CR housing

Scott Overland is a Cedar Rapids City Council member who gets things done.

And, assistance with housing is one of the best ways a council member can improve the city. High quality, affordable housing directly impacts our neighborhoods, public safety, schools, and the personal health and well-being of our citizens.

After his first election four years ago, Scott quickly realized that establishing a Neighborhood Finance Corporation (NFC) in CR would help prospective homebuyers get home loans, make down-payments, and secure dollars to improve them. Scott researched the Des Moines program and learned it has helped over 5,500 households with over $300 million in loans for 29 years.

Scott quickly went to work to set up C.R.’s NFC and, with Kyle Skogman’s help, raised over $800,000 from the community for startup costs, and secured $8 million in commitments from 11 lenders to establish the loan pool. Scott and his team set up NFC in two years. In its first year of operation, the NFC has made 28 loans totaling over $1 million.

Scott says the program helps residents buy and fix up homes. He says these home investments stabilize the city’s tax base and can save neighborhood schools when older neighborhoods are repopulated.

The program is a self-supporting, nonprofit. Homes qualify for NFC assistance in ten neighborhoods: Cleveland, Taylor, Northwest Neighbors, Oak Hill Jackson, Wellington Heights, Mound View, Kenwood Park, and Noelridge Park.

We thank Council member Scott Overland for getting things done for the residents of Cedar Rapids.

Pat Shey

Cedar Rapids

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