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Housing Grant for Southeast Iowa

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The Iowa Finance Authority is investing more than $7.3-million in affordable housing initiatives across the state, including one in the southeast corner.

The Great River Housing Trust Fund, which serves Lee, Des Moines, Henry and Louisa Counties, is in line for $331,193.

Regional Planner Sara Hecox said the money can be used in several ways.  She said participants who meet certain income guidelines will receive roughly $10,000 for down payment assistance or home improvements.

"Usually the dollars go pretty quick," said Hecox.  "We try to divvy them out equally per county.  There is a lot of need in the area."

Hecox said the money could also go towards a new partnership between the Housing Trust Fund and the Iowa State Penitentiary to build and sell manufactured homes.

The Iowa Finance Authority estimates its latest investment will help more than 2,300 families across the state.

Executive Director Dave Jamison said it will also spur additional investments.

"The grants announced... are leveraging an additional $4.1-million in local contributions," said Jamison, "which is a testament to the shared dedication of meeting these vital needs."

The money comes from the State Housing Trust Fund's Local Housing Trust Fund, which was created by the Iowa Legislature.  The IFA said since its inception, the SHTF has provided nearly $50-million in affordable housing assistance, benefiting more than 15,000 Iowa families.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.