Housing project builds hope for flood victims - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Housing project builds hope for flood victims

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Cedar Rapids (KWWL) -- Chris and Jeannie Becker just celebrated their 7th wedding anniversary last week. Flooded out of their home in June -- now they have reason to rejoice.

"It's still unbelievable," says Jeannie Becker.  "It's just really unbelievable."

The Beckers will buy one of 11 new homes in the Oak Hill Jackson neighborhood of Cedar Rapids. Skogman Construction broke ground on the project Monday on what is now vacant, city owned land.

"You've got empty lots sitting here the taxpayers are paying nothing for," says Jeannie's husband, Chris.  "They're maintaining and building houses that are going to actually make the city money."

"This is the beginning of putting houses back for people to live in," says Cedar Rapids mayor Kay Halloran.

The plan is to build homes that cost between $120,000 and $145,000. But buyers can meet incentives to save a third of that cost.

"To be able to buy a new home for the $83,000 that they're telling us is just unheard of," says Jeannie Becker.

The Beckers' home is expected to be the first house completed as part of the project. Weather permitting, Chris and Jeannie could be first-time homeowners by mid-February.

We're moving very fast," says Halloran.  "The people from FEMA even told us, we never got into a territory so quickly in all our lives and we've been breathing down their necks the whole time."

Since the flood, the Beckers have been living in an apartment in Hiawatha. They hope this will be their final move.

"It's been a summer we all want to forget," says Jeannie Becker.

Online Reporter: Bryan Goettel

bgoettel@kwwl.com

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