Gov. Culver, Mayor of Cedar Rapids announce housing progress - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Gov. Culver, Mayor of Cedar Rapids announce housing progress

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - Cedar Rapids is making progress to address its housing shortage, according to Mayor Ron Corbett. He said in a media conference Tuesday, that a combination of public and private funds have been laying the groundwork for new affordable homes and rental units to replace the ones lost during the flood of 2008.

Mayor Corbett said Cedar Rapids was short 2,000 affordable homes after the flood, but said great strides have been made since then.

"We'll have over one thousand units now, by the end of this next fiscal year, of affordable housing, like the one we stand in front of."

The new home on the northwest side belongs to Jennifer Canary.

"The down payment is the biggest obstacle for people trying to get into housing, so this program makes that possible," Canary said.

She's talking about the Single Family New Construction Program, started in 2009, along with the Multi-Family New Construction Program, created to replace rental housing in Cedar Rapids. Governor Chet Culver said the programs are partnerships between the city and the Iowa Department of Economic Development, a combination of public and private money.

"So many of the business leaders have also stepped forward to lend a helping hand," said Culver.

To date, the Single Family program has provided 436 new housing units through 2011. The Multi-Family program has provided 660 new rental units through 2013.

Steve Erusha, current president of the Greater Cedar Rapids Area Home Builders Association, showed us 25 new homes, all them already purchased, built with funding from the single-family program.

"We participated last year under that program, and then this year there's 235 homes going up, so you can see how effective it is," Erusha said.

He told us the continuation of both programs is essential, as demand for new housing is still running high in the Cedar Rapids area.

"Even though we have all of homes sold, we're still getting calls from people every week, from people looking to participate in this program. This has been doing exactly what the city of Cedar Rapids and the state of Iowa designed the program to do, so I think there is a good demand for this type of program next year, and in the years to come."

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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