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Housing trust to distribute money

By Staff | May 28, 2010

The Board of Directors of the Northwest Iowa Regional Housing Trust Fund took the first steps Thursday to begin distributing housing grants and loans.

Carol Keizer, planner for Northwest Iowa Planning and Development which is administering the trust, said the organization was the first housing trust fund to get 501(c)3 approval from the Internal Revenue Service this year. As a result, the state state released $269,989 in funding. Another $50,436 in local match money has also come in.

“We are fully funded and we are ready to start doling out our money,” Keizer said.

Regarding the marketing and application process, Keizer said 157 press releases were sent to every county, city, bank, newspaper and radio station in the trust area. To date, 42 applications have been received and of those 16 are ready to be awarded.

Keizer said 10 pending applications had been sent in but more information was needed. Another 13 applications were ready to go and another three were not eligible.

Board members reviewed and determined that 16 grant applications were income eligible to receive assistance up to $15,000.

Thirty percent of funds will go to very low-income persons. Income limits for that level would be one- to two-person families, $18,800 and two- to six-person families, $21,390. Families in that income level who own their own home and who meet guidelines are eligible for grants of up to $5,000.

Persons who earn 31-80 percent of area median income are eligible for grants up to $5,000 and low-interest loans of up to $10,000.

In Emmet County, applications for grants and loans are available at city offices, banks and the Emmet County Auditor’s Office.