Reynolds announces $100M housing investment from federal relief funds

By: - September 8, 2021 3:43 pm

Royal View Manor is a 200-unit public housing development at 1101 Crocker St., Des Moines. (Photo courtesy of the City of Des Moines)

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Wednesday that the state will use $100 million of federal funds for housing initiatives in Iowa. The federal money will be in addition to an existing $230 million in state tax credits.

“This transformative investment promises to build approximately 36,000 new housing units statewide, with an average contribution per unit of more than $9,000,” Reynolds said Wednesday in a news release, referring to both the federal and state contributions. “This represents a much-needed down payment on Iowa’s long-term prosperity.”

Reynolds announced the investment at the HousingIowa conference in Cedar Rapids. The $100 million of federal COVID-19 relief money will be divided among several state programs to create incentives for new home construction and to assist homeowners with repairs and down payments.

What housing programs will receive federal funding?

  • Federal Housing Tax Credit Program – $45 million: Reynolds estimated the federal funds would allow the state to offer 15 more tax credits to projects, ultimately creating about 700 new rental homes.
  • Workforce Housing Tax Credit Program – $20 million: Federal funds will help pay for more expensive construction materials for existing projects.
  • Downtown Housing Grant Program – $20 million: These funds will go toward housing projects in towns of 30,000 or less.
  • Homes for Iowa – $10 million: Homes for Iowa trains inmates at the Newton Correctional Facility in construction. The group plans to build nearly 900 homes in the next decade.
  • Home Repair Block Grant Pilot Program – $4 million: Homeowners can apply for state grants to repair their homes.
  • Minority Homebuyer Down Payment Assistance Pilot Program – $1 million: The funding will provide 200 nonwhite Iowans with $5,000 for a down payment and closing cost assistance. The program is only for people who use a mortgage program from the Iowa Finance Authority.

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Katie Akin
Katie Akin

Katie Akin is a former Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter. Katie began her career as an intern at PolitiFact, debunking viral fake news and fact-checking state and national politicians. She moved to Iowa in 2019 for a politics internship at the Des Moines Register, where she assisted with Iowa Caucus coverage, multimedia projects and the Register’s Iowa Poll. She became the Register’s retail reporter in early 2020, chronicling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Central Iowa’s restaurants and retailers.