Henry County contributes $10,000 to regional housing trust fund

MT. PLEASANT — Henry County will contribute $10,000 in matching funds for the Great River Housing Trust Fund, a grant program provided through the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission.

Sara Hecox, a housing grant administrator for the nonprofit commission, told the county Board of Supervisors about how the fund provides support to low- and moderate-income residents in Henry, Des Moines, Lee and Louisa counties.

Since the fund was created in 2011, more than $5.5 million has been awarded to housing projects in the region. Grant programs residents and local developers can apply for under the fund include owner-occupied rehabilitations on homes, which provides up to $10,000 for new windows, roofs, siding, furnaces and other upgrades; down payment assistance up to $7,500 per homeowner; development assistance for nonprofit developers up to $25,000; and assistance for the creation of upper-story units with up to $25,000 in a forgivable loan per unit created.

For the 2021 grant, the nonprofit needs $68,470 in a local match from the entire region.

The board approved a $10,000 contribution from Henry County.

land sale

The board continued discussion about the potential sale of county farm ground after being approached by Jim Burden, a county resident interested in purchasing the property.

Board member Gary See said he spoke briefly with Mt. Pleasant City Administrator Brent Schleismn about the county property. Schleisman told See the city would be interested in purchasing a part of the grounds that borders the city’s park.

Board chair Marc Lindeen said he would like the county to consult Realtors to help assess the value of the land. Lindeen added Burden’s offer would pay $3,500 per acre for the approximately 29-acre piece of land.

Lindeen said he wanted to consult the county’s development commission about possible uses before moving forward with a sale.