Iowa City holds drawing for new homes - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City holds drawing for new homes

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) - Some relief came Monday for first-time homebuyers and flood victims in Iowa City, in the form of a lottery drawing.

The city randomly drew names of people who applied for the state's "Single Family New Construction Unit Production Program. Iowa City received about $2.2 million for the program earlier this year.

For a short time, Iowa City's city council chamber resembled a bingo hall. But instead of cash, the prizes were brand new homes.

"It was a godsend for me," said Brenda Minor, a first-time homebuyer. Minor was one of 40 people to have their names drawn for a home package. She'll work with one of several builders, choosing from different locations and designs. If she stays in that home for at least five years, she'll be eligible to receive forgiveable downpayment assistance loans, totaling up to 30 percent of the home's price.

"Something I've been dreaming of all my life, so I'm really happy about it."

If everything works out, she could be moved in by year's end.

The program is a relief to her in tough economic times, but even moreso for those who lost their homes during last year's flood, like Forrest Strum.

"I was down in the Parkview subdivision, and we ended up with two feet of water in the home," said Strum. He and his daughter took a tour of what their new place will look like. He considers himself lucky for having his name called.

"We've got approximately two weeks to finalize the loan application, and we'll go forward from there."

Mayor Pro-Tem Mike O' Donnell says there may be more opportunities to apply for the program in the future.

"There may be more money coming down the pike, and Iowa City's the type of city that will take advantage of that if its available."

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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