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Estherville gets $300,000 housing grant

By Staff | Mar 7, 2008

Iowa Department of Economic Development Director Mike Tramontina, left, and IDED Housing Team Leader Terry Vestal, right, announced a housing rehabilitation grant award of $304,250 to the City of Estherville Thursday in Storm Lake. Accepting the award on behalf of the City of Estherville was Michael Tidemann, center, member of the Housing Rehabilitation Committee. EDN photo

STORM LAKE — The City of Estherville Thursday received a grant for $304,250 to rehabilitate 10 owner-occupied homes in ceremonies at Kings Pointe Resort in Storm Lake.

It was the full amount for which the city applied.

Iowa Department of Economic Development Director Mike Tramontina and IDED Housing Team leader Terry Vestal made the presentation. The award was part of nearly $31 million in awards made throughout the state.

Carol Keizer, planner with Northwest Iowa Planning and Development, wrote the grant application with assistance of the City of Estherville and the Housing Rehabilitation Committee.

Serving on the Housing Rehabilitation Committee were Estherville Community Development Director Barb Mack, Councilperson Lori Donovan, Mike Clarken, Cheryl Houseman, Marilyn Loy, and Michael Tidemann.

Forty preapplications were completed for the 10 units to be rehabilitated under the program. The area targeted for the rehabilitation grants is in south-central Estherville. Owner-occupants may receive a forgivable loan of up to $24,999 to rehabilitate their property. If an owner lives in the home for five years after repairs are completed, the grant is completely forgiven.

The program was further assisted by matching pledges from Estherville businesses and individuals.

“That’s super,” said City of Estherville Administrator Steve Woodley who worked closely with Keizer in administering the project. “That’s a great deal.”

Governor Chet Culver and the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) officials announced federal awards totaling $30,758,803 for community improvement projects across Iowa. IDED awarded the funds from two federal initiatives, the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and HOME Investment Partnership Program to 83 projects across the state.

“To promote one Iowa with one unlimited future, we are taking action statewide to protect the quality of our drinking water, our housing, our sewer systems, and our community facilities, said Governor Culver. “Making investments in our infrastructure is critical to our public safety, our quality of life, and our economy. These funds help ensure that all Iowans have the opportunity to thrive in a strong community and take advantage of Iowa’s unlimited opportunities.

Communities and projects across the state will receive a total of over $30.7 million for community facilities, services, and infrastructure improvements, as well as the creation or rehabilitation of affordable housing across Iowa.

“Iowa’s economy depends on communities meeting the needs of citizens,” said IDED Director Mike Tramontina. “These funds help meet those needs while leveraging more than $69 million in local investments and creating nearly 900 new construction jobs across the state.

Unfortunately, over the past five years, federal funds for the CDBG program have been cut by over 16 percent. The proposed 2009 federal CDBG budget slashes an additional 18 percent from the program.

“These crucial infrastructure projects strengthen our communities and protect Iowa families,” said Governor Culver. “I strongly urge President Bush and Congress to invest in our communities by restoring federal funds to these essential community development programs.”

Since 1982, the CDBG program and HOME program have funded 3,374 awards in 847 Iowa cities and counties and provided more than $900 million in funding.

These awards are funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). IDED is responsible for administering the funds in the non-metropolitan areas of the state. Applications are solicited annually, usually during the fall. The awards are based on the need and potential impact for the project, benefit to low- and moderate-income persons, and commitment of local resources to the project.