By Gregg Hennigan
IOWA CITY — Brenda Y. Minor let out a little squeal as she left City Hall on Monday.
And who can blame her? A bit of luck may end up helping her, at age 53, become a homeowner for the first time.
“This is really a godsend,” said Minor, who currently rents a home in Iowa City through the Housing Fellowship and works at the driver’s license station.
She was one of forty people selected Monday for an affordable housing program offered by the city and administered by the Housing Trust Fund of Johnson County. Another eleven applicants were not so lucky — at least for now.
Mayor Pro Tem Mike O’Donnell drew the names out of a bingo roller in an event at City Hall attended by a couple of dozen applicants. The first 40 got dibs on selecting new homes to be built across the city. They will get to pick homes in the order their names were drawn. The rest go on a waiting list.
The program, funded by nearly $2.3 million in federal funds administered by the state, is intended to help replace housing lost during last summer’s record flood.
Buyers will pay for the homes but will receive down-payment assistance of up to 30 percent of the home price. Homes must be priced at $180,000 or less. There are income guidelines for who is eligible, and the assistance will be in the form of a five-year forgivable loan.