State of Iowa has $30 million to hand out for communities - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

State of Iowa has $30 million to hand out for communities impacted by 2008 flooding


The state of Iowa has $30-million leftover from the federal government to hand out to counties that were once declared as a disaster area.

It's estimated that about $12-million will be designated for communities with a population of less than 50,000 people.

With the March 1, 2013, deadline approaching, applicants in Waverly have been working hard to produce a competitive proposal.

In 2008, more than 90 homes were destroyed during the 2008 flood. Many of them were rental properties.

Waverly's Chamber of Commerce has formed a partnership with seven downtown property owners to meet the need for affordable rental properties in Waverly.

"Some of our property owner's spaces have been vacant for as much as 40 or 50 years," said Executive Director at Waverly Chamber of Commerce Emily Neuendorf.

Neuendorf is helping write a lengthy grant proposal, requesting more than $2-million of the leftover federal funds to help transform vacant buildings into rental units. 

"For Waverly to have an opportunity at this funding is excellent, but the amount of funding and the effect that it can have in our downtown district is pretty incredible," said Neuendorf.

If approved, at least 51 percent of the rental units would need to be available for those who need affordable housing.

This means if the group's proposal is accepted, more than half of the units would need to be affordable for an individual who makes approximately less than $40,000 per year or a couple with less than about $46,000 per year.

"These properties will be excellent for young professionals, for retirees perhaps who are looking for a smaller space and don't have children to find room for anymore...they'll be available for anybody with interest," said Neuendorf.

Ideally, the Waverly Chamber of Commerce said it would like to see construction started on 25 rental units next winter, all of which would be in the downtown district. It expects to hear if its proposal is accepted by April of this year.

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