Justin Yarosevich, one of two representatives for the county on the Howard Housing Trust Fund, reports to the Board of Supervisors that the county has received $12,088 through the trust for the current cycle, but the funds have to be spent on housing programs by April 2008.
According to an annual report from Yarosevich, the Homeward housing trust fund is a joint trust fund operated by Homeward Inc. BV County is a member of the 13-county Housing Trust Fund along with Calhoun, Franklin, Hancock, Hardin, Humboldt, Kossuth, Mitchell, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Winnebago, Worth and Wright Counties.
The Homeward Housing Trust Fund applied for $200,000 grant from the state in 2007 with a matching contribution from Homeward Inc. of $90,000. Iowa award $132,044 and Homeward matched with $59,400.
"Of the award $39,613 was designed to serve individuals and families who met the 30 percent of the median income level for Buena Vista County," Yarosevich said. "The total amount was split evenly between the 13 members of the Trust Fund meaning that BV County received $3,047.15 to help members of the county who meet these income guidelines."
The actual award was split between two separate programs to benefit two separate groups of citizens, those of extremely low income levels who owned homes, defined as those meeting 30 percent of the county median income; and low income individuals, defined as those meeting 80 percent of the county median income.
According to Yarosevich, Buena Vista County General Relief is aware of this financing source and is working with their client base to use the money. Additionally, potential applicants can receive an application from from Homeward Inc. by Calling 515-532-6477 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Yarosevich said funds may be available again next year.
* In other Supervisor news, property owner Tim Humes approached the board to request relief from the county to replace his septic system. Humes was requesting the board to recommend some places he might be able to find alternative funding or a tax abatement.
"I've lost two out of the four sources of income and it was beyond my control," Humes said. "I am considering opening a bed and breakfast but do not have the resources to upgrade my septic system to accommodate."
Humes added that he didn't meet the qualifications for low intreats loans.
The supervisors recommend that Humes look to small business associates of the Iowa Lakes Corridor for funds as well and the Homeward Housing Trust fund.
Humes question the board as to why they granted an abatement to Rembrandt Enterprises but not to him.
"I live and work in the county and I don't receive an abatement but you give one to a company who's owner doesn't live in here and was recently recognized for being worth over a billion dollars," Humes said.
"Rembrandt Enterprises received an abatement through a program through the state for five years, we didn't have much say about that," Supervisor Lorna Burnside said. "We did decided to grant them two extra years but it isn't the full abatement like the state granted."
Humes stated that he felt that the Supervisors were supporting the employment of illegal workers.
"We do not support that but we do not have a place to say it on this matter," Burnside said.