Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 17, 2014

City commitment to housing program increases

By Trisha Phelps, GTNS News Team | Nov 25, 2013

WAYLAND — The Wayland City Council voted on Wednesday to commit $12,000 if Wayland receives the owner-occupied housing rehabilitation grant, instead of the $8,000 they were originally planning in hopes of receiving the grant.

Dan Eberhardt of the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission made a presentation to the council at the meeting to talk about the ways this grant could help Wayland and to encourage the council to put more than just the $8,000 towards the project.

“One thing that I think will help you (receive the grant), I know you are putting in $1,000 per home, but if you could bump that amount up it would sure strengthen your chances,” said Eberhardt.

Last year, the city agreed to pay $1,000 per house for the project of 10 housing, with a total of $10,000. This year, the council decided to only have eight houses in the project in hopes of making the money go further. With the council putting $12,000 towards the project this year, each house would receive $1,500 from the council.

“Only about half of the grant money is available in the state of Iowa compared to the last time Wayland did this program,” said Eberhardt. “I think we tried for 10 houses last year, so if we try for eight this year we could make the money go farther.”

According to Eberhardt, once the city applies for the grant in December, it will be learned in late March or early April if the city is awarded the grant money.

“By the time we get everything completed, there will be a release of funds somewhere in September, but we will start taking applications in late summer to get people lined up and qualified,” said Eberhardt.

All households assisted through this program will qualify based on income guidelines not to exceed 80 percent of county-median income, according to the rules of the program. This means that a one-person household cannot have an income higher than $33,250. A two-person family can have a household income no higher than $38,000; three- person family income of $42,750; and a four-person family’s income of $47,500.

Eberhardt also noted to the council that there are other resources available for families through his office to fix up their homes.

“If there are residents that we think are lower income, have them come down or at least get in touch with our office,” Eberhardt said. “We do have other funds available for smaller rehabs, around $10,000 or $11,000. It would be for one person making around $20,000 per year or less, a family of four making around $32,000 I think. So at least there is back up. If you know of someone who is really in need, we can help them in that way.”

The council also:

• had the swearing in of new council member Scott Shumaker, incumbent council members Karole Miller and Melinda Ullery, and Mayor Brad Roth;

• reviewed health insurance plan options;

• authorized city clerk Bev Conrad to apply for a city credit card; and

• discussed an engineering agreement for the RISE grant project.

The next council meeting will be Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Wayland City Hall.

 

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