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Funding made available through Senate File 512; First legislation signed into law by Gov. Reynolds
Des Moines – Governor Reynolds today announced that the communities of Adel, Auburn, Boone, Britt, Carlisle, Chariton, Winneshiek County – Festina, Grandview, Hartford, Indianola, Lake Park, McGregor, Mount Ayr, Perry, Treynor and Wheatland have been awarded a total of $6.2 million in grants to advance water quality projects. The funding is made available through the Wastewater and Drinking Water Treatment Financial Assistance Program, which was created as a part of Senate File 512, the first legislation signed into law by Governor Reynolds in January 2018.
“Investing in water quality infrastructure within our state has been a top priority of my administration since day one,” said Gov. Reynolds. “The first bill I signed into law as Governor in 2018 created opportunities for communities to upgrade their water infrastructure and I’ve remained steadfast in my commitment to building upon that.”
The Wastewater and Drinking Water Treatment Financial Assistance Program receives a portion of the tax on metered water and had more than $6 million available for allocation in 2021. Grants will be awarded through the program on an annual basis through 2039.
The 2021 program received 18 applications requesting more than $6.5 million in water quality grants.
A committee consisting of designees from the Iowa Finance Authority, Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship judged the Wastewater and Drinking Water Financial Assistance Program applications based on the program’s priorities.
Priorities for grant awards include: Disadvantaged communities; Projects that will significantly improve water quality in their watershed; Projects that use alternative wastewater treatment technologies; Communities with the highest sewer or water rates; Projects that use technology to address nutrient reduction; and projects to address improvements to drinking water source waters.
The Wastewater and Drinking Water Treatment Financial Assistance Program has assisted a total of 33 communities through a total of nearly $9 million in water quality grants since the first awards were granted in 2019. The program is expected to have approximately $6 million in available funds in 2022 based on the portion of tax that will be allocated to the program.
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
Governor Kim Reynolds ★ Lt. Governor Adam Gregg
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday Sept. 8, 2021
CONTACT: Pat Garrett, (515) 802-0986
DES MOINES – Governor Reynolds today attended the HousingIowa Conference in Cedar Rapids and announced an additional $100 million investment to increase the supply of housing options and protect and expand housing opportunities for Iowans to live in or near the communities where they work. The funds are made available through Federal American Rescue Act State and Local Fiscal Relief Funds.
“FOR IOWA TO CONTINUE TO THRIVE, WE MUST ELIMINATE BARRIERS TO THOSE TRYING TO ENTER THE WORKFORCE,” SAID GOV. REYNOLDS.
“With today’s investment, Iowa has designated a total of $330 million over the next five years for overcoming Iowa’s housing shortage. This transformative investment promises to build approximately 36,000 new housing units statewide, with an average contribution per unit of more than $9,000. This represents a much-needed down payment on Iowa’s long-term prosperity,” said Gov. Reynolds.
The $100 million housing investment includes:
Federal Housing Tax Credit Program – $45 million
The $45 million investment into the Federal Housing Tax Credit Program is estimated to move approximately 15 housing tax credit projects forward that otherwise would not be able to proceed and is expected to create an estimated total of 700 rental homes for Iowans. Eligible projects include developments that applied for a 2021 9% Federal Housing Tax Credit Program award but did not receive an award of tax credits. Projects will be prioritized based on scoring criteria and must be shovel ready. The financing will be paired with the federal 4% Tax Credit Program.
Workforce Housing Tax Credit Program – $20 million
The $20 million investment will provide gap financing to current Workforce Housing Tax Credit Program projects to assist with the increased cost of construction building materials. These funds will help ensure that existing Workforce Housing Tax Credit projects are able to be completed, expanding housing opportunities for Iowans.
Downtown Housing Grant Program – $20 million
The newly created Downtown Housing Grant Program will provide financial assistance for projects that support local downtown revitalization through the creation of new housing opportunities in communities with populations of 30,000 or less.
Homes for Iowa – $10 million
This investment will assist in providing a larger pipeline of skilled workers for our employers and more opportunities for homebuyers to purchase a home in their price range through the Homes for Iowa initiative. Homes for Iowa is a public/private partnership that trains offenders in skilled building trades while building single family homes at the Newton Correctional Facility. The $10 million investment will assist in material costs, the construction of a permanent shop and home moving equipment set-up that will allow the Homes for Iowa program to scale production and training efforts.
Home Repair Block Grant Pilot Program – $4 million
The housing stock in Iowa is comparatively older than that in the rest of the country, with an average median home age of approximately 50 years. This investment will provide qualified homeowners with financial assistance for eligible repair expenses to help preserve their homes. The application will be open to eligible organizations and based on program guidelines and scoring criteria.
Minority Homebuyer Down Payment Assistance Pilot Program – $1 million
Homeownership is a leading driver of wealth creation, yet minority homeowners in Iowa are underrepresented. This initial $1 million investment will assist in breaking barriers to homeownership by providing 200 eligible Iowa minority households with assistance purchasing a home. The program will provide a $5,000 down payment and closing costs assistance grant when used with an Iowa Finance Authority mortgage program.
Further details on all newly announced programs, including how to apply are available at iowafinance.com/arphousingfunds.
DES MOINES – The Iowa Finance Authority and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources today announced that 22 communities and municipalities with current State Revolving Fund loans for water quality projects will save a total of more than $11 million in interest over the remaining life of their loans as a result of their interest rate being reduced from 3% to 1.75%.
The State Revolving Fund is one of Iowa’s primary sources for financing projects designed to improve Iowa’s water quality. Two funds, one for drinking water and one for wastewater and pollution control, have provided low-cost financing to projects in nearly 700 Iowa communities in addition to farmers, watershed groups and others for water quality projects. The program is jointly administered by the Iowa Finance Authority and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
“THE WATER QUALITY FINANCING PROGRAMS OFFERED THROUGH THE STATE REVOLVING FUND PLAY A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN HELPING COMMUNITIES ADVANCE WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENTS,” SAID IOWA FINANCE AUTHORITY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DEBI DURHAM.
“Not only does this financing allow critical water projects to move forward but Iowa communities and municipalities have realized a total savings of nearly $60 million through interest rate reductions through the program,” said Director Debi Durham.
“The City of Montezuma will realize a savings of nearly $100,000 through the interest rate reduction on our State Revolving Fund water quality loan,” said City of Montezuma Director of Finance Abby Hubbard. “We’re appreciative of the interest rate reduction that will allow us to reallocate these funds to other community priorities.”
“We are proud to play a role in assisting communities and municipalities of all sizes upgrade their water infrastructure through affordable and innovative financing programs,” said Iowa Department of Natural Resources Director Kayla Lyon.
“THESE INVESTMENTS WILL PAY DIVIDENDS FOR IOWANS FOR YEARS TO COME,” SAID DIRECTOR LYON
Besides offering communities low interest rates to finance water infrastructure projects, the State Revolving Fund offers other benefits, such as lower up-front costs and no reserve requirement.
For more information on the State Revolving Loan program, visit IowaSRF.com.
The Iowa Finance Authority administers the State Revolving Fund (SRF) in partnership with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The SRF assists communities with the costs of upgrading or constructing public wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects.