Senate Democratic Leader Zach Wahls released a statement praising President Joe Biden, Congresswoman Cindy Axne, and Democrats in Congress for their historic investment for housing in Iowa:
“Iowans have another reason to be thankful that President Biden, U.S. Representative Axne, and the Democratic Party passed the American Rescue Plan. Because of their leadership, Iowa is moving ahead with a multi-million dollar effort to increase the availability of affordable housing across our state. This is great news for hard-working Iowans and their families as we work to build back better.”
100% of this funding was allocated by the Democrats’ American Rescue Plan, which passed without a single Republican vote and over the objections of Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds.
The Democrats’ American Rescue Plan investment in housing includes:
Federal Housing Tax Credit Program – $45 million
The $45 million investment into the Federal Housing Tax Credit Program is estimated to move approximately 15 housing tax credit projects forward that otherwise would not be able to proceed and is expected to create an estimated total of 700 rental homes for Iowans. Eligible projects include developments that applied for a 2021 9% Federal Housing Tax Credit Program award but did not receive an award of tax credits. Projects will be prioritized based on scoring criteria and must be shovel ready. The financing will be paired with the federal 4% Tax Credit Program.
Workforce Housing Tax Credit Program – $20 million
The $20 million investment will provide gap financing to current Workforce Housing Tax Credit Program projects to assist with the increased cost of construction building materials. These funds will help ensure that existing Workforce Housing Tax Credit projects are able to be completed, expanding housing opportunities for Iowans.
Downtown Housing Grant Program – $20 million
The newly created Downtown Housing Grant Program will provide financial assistance for projects that support local downtown revitalization through the creation of new housing opportunities in communities with populations of 30,000 or less.
Homes for Iowa – $10 million
This investment will assist in providing a larger pipeline of skilled workers for our employers and more opportunities for homebuyers to purchase a home in their price range through the Homes for Iowa initiative. Homes for Iowa is a public/private partnership that trains offenders in skilled building trades while building single family homes at the Newton Correctional Facility. The $10 million investment will assist in material costs, the construction of a permanent shop and home moving equipment set-up that will allow the Homes for Iowa program to scale production and training efforts.
Home Repair Block Grant Pilot Program – $4 million
The housing stock in Iowa is comparatively older than that in the rest of the country, with an average median home age of approximately 50 years. This investment will provide qualified homeowners with financial assistance for eligible repair expenses to help preserve their homes. The application will be open to eligible organizations and based on program guidelines and scoring criteria.
Minority Homebuyer Down Payment Assistance Pilot Program – $1 million
Homeownership is a leading driver of wealth creation, yet minority homeowners in Iowa are underrepresented. This initial $1 million investment will assist in breaking barriers to homeownership by providing 200 eligible Iowa minority households with assistance purchasing a home. The program will provide a $5,000 down payment and closing costs assistance grant when used with an Iowa Finance Authority mortgage program.