Helping rural homeowners - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Helping rural homeowners


DES MOINES (KWWL) - The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is helping residents in northeast Iowa looking to purchase a new home with no-down-payment programs.

Last year USDA Rural Development provided Iowans with $128 million in loans helping 1,600 families living in rural communities become homeowners, according to Timothy Helmbrecht, USDA Rural Development Acting State Director in Iowa.

USDA Rural Development has up to $300 million available in two low-interest, no-down-payment loan programs to help families living in rural communities and areas purchase new homes. 

Loans and some grants are also available to help families make needed repairs to their homes as well.
Eligible homes must be located in a community of 20,000 persons or less. The home can be existing or new construction. Existing homes must be structurally sound. Also, the property cannot have any income-producing outbuildings.


The USDA finds a family of four with an adjusted annual income of up to $73,600 may qualify for loans. If that same family of four's adjusted annual income is less than $50,800 they may also qualify for a direct loan. These income limits increase in communities located near metro areas.

Lender details:

USDA Rural Development's guarantee loan program is administered by a local lender who takes the application, processes it and determines the acceptability of the home to be financed. Under the direct loan program an applicant may be eligible for payment assistance, which would subsidize the interest portion of the house payment down to as low as 1 percent, lowering the overall monthly payment. 

"USDA Rural Development expects to provide as many as 3,000 Iowa families with mortgage loans this year thanks to additional funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment and special disaster assistance as a result of last year's flooding and extreme storms throughout Iowa," Helmbrecht said. "We have plenty of funds available this year, so please give us a call today to learn more."
Along with home mortgage loans, special funds are available from USDA Rural Development to assist with improvements to community facility and infrastructure projects such health clinics, community centers, public safety buildings and water and wastewater systems, as well as businesses and economic organizations looking to create jobs in rural communities.

Contact Information:

USDA Rural Development
Residents in northeast Iowa are served by the USDA Rural Development office in Waverly. For more information about housing programs through USDA Rural Development, call Linea Baldwin or Shelley Gray at (319) 352-1715. You can also visit with them in the office between 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 1510 3rd St. SW in Waverly.

The Waverly office serves residents Allamakee, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek Counties. USDA Rural Development staff will gladly meet with potential homeowners locally in any of these counties.

USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.9 million Iowans living in rural communities.  Office locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.

Further information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting the agency's web site at

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