SHELDON - Northwest Iowa Regional House Trust Fund board members Thursday observed five years since the trust was certified by the state as a regional housing trust fund.
To date, the trust has distributed $1.5 million to member counties which include Buena Vista, Emmet, Lyon, O'Brien, Osceola and Sioux. On Jan. 1, 2015, Dickinson County will also join the trust.
The trust supports owner-occupied housing rehabilitation as its main priority. On Jan. 1, financial assistance was increased to $7,500 for grants and $22,500 for combination grants and repayable loans.
Households under 30 percent of area median income limits are eligible for a forgivable loan (grant) up to $7,500 for eligible home repairs. Households at 31-80 percent of area median income limits are eligible for a combination of a forgivable loan of up to $7,500 and a low-interest repayable loan of 2 percent up to $15,000 at a 1:2 ratio. The maximum amount of assistance is capped at $22,500 per household.
Since the trust began, it has awarded grants to 78 homeowners and seven agencies, amounting to $406,486.
A combination of forgivable loans and low-interest repayable loans was awarded to households with incomes between 31-80 percent of area median income. To date, the trust has awarded 60 combination grants and low interest loans, totalling $426.744.
Starting January 2013, the trust began awarding grants to agencies serving people under guidelines set by the trust Housing Assistance Plan. Awards in 2013 went to Buena Vista Habitat for Humanity, Hope Haven, Siouxland Habitat for Humanity and the Family Crisis Center. In 2014, two agency awards went to Hope Haven and Siouxland Habitat for Humanity.
For more information and specific eligibility requirements, go online to www.stormlake.org/DocumentView.aspx?DID=528. Home owner-occupants in member counties may also check with their local city hall or county auditor's office.