On September 15th, the city of Osceola was notified by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) that they were the latest recipient of a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for $252,200.
The CDBG program is a Federally Funded program through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The funds distributed through the grant are made available to rural communities to address much needed updates to homes and properties and to help remove blight and decay for community development. The program provides 5-year forgivable loans to homeowners who meet federal income requirements and need to fix up the outside of their homes. Work may include new siding, windows, doors, roof, and foundation repair.
Started in the spring of 2019, the application process for the CDBG funding was a multi-step process taken on by Ty Wheeler, Osceola’s City Administrator. Through numerous rounds of documentation of community demographics, population, qualifying properties, resident applications, and more, the City’s commitment to finding funding to help residents in need was evident.
“We knew we had property owners interested in the program,” said Wheeler. “This funding will go a long way in helping those needing support in bringing those properties up to code and improving our community.”
Property owners interested in the program were able to submit preapplications last spring. The preapplications were reviewed and full applications were sent to qualified home owners. The City received 9 full applications back, and of those, the top six were selected based on income guidelines established by IEDA. The grant money awarded to the City to help pay for renovations and property improvements is primarily intended for low to moderate income persons.
The City of Osceola is partnering with the Southern Iowa Council of Governments to provide technical services and administration for the program. The City hopes to have contracts with property owners executed in early 2021.
“This CDGB grant will be a big boost for future development in Osceola.” said Bill Trickey, Clarke County Development Corporation Executive Director. “Run down, cluttered parts of the city can be brought back to pristine condition and be an attraction for future businesses and residents.”