Cerro Gordo supervisors approve support of application for funding to help rehab housing throughout county

MASON CITY — The Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors has approved a letter of support for a grant application made by the North Iowa Corridor Housing Development Corporation that if successful would provide funding to help rehabilitate housing throughout the county.

Corridor CEO Chad Schreck says if successful, resources would be made available from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development through Congresswoman Ashley Hinson’s office. Schreck says after focusing on housing issues in Mason City and Clear Lake, the potential funding could be used countywide.   “We’ve already got some housing stuff going, it’s a huge, critical  priority for each community and across the county. It’s an area we felt we could make an impact in. We have the infrastructure kind of set up now to assist with that, but we felt like it made the most sense to do that through the county because we could impact everyone and wouldn’t have to worry about jurisdictional stuff between Mason City or Clear Lake to help Rockwell and Swaledale and any of the other small towns in the county this way.”

Schreck says there are several potential housing issues that could be addressed throughout the county with the funding.   “We’ve got a lot of houses and potential sites already identified. At our current pace, we could probably do three to five a year. We put in a request for $2.5 million. A kind of rough number is about $100,000 per house essentially in what it takes to renovate and remodel, get them ready for sale. That would allow us to do about 25 homes across the county, and the goal would be to sell those, put the money back into the next one, just keep revolving that money and keep doing the next project, provide urban revitalization, things of that nature, which was one of the key priorities for funding that they identified for us to as far as the congressperson’s priorities.”

Schreck says the program could be set up so a portion of the funds would be used in the communities outside of Mason City and Clear Lake in the county.  “The one big way we can impact economic development in those smaller towns is housing. If we can really try to make that dedicated push, I think this is one of the best ways, because just the reality of infrastructure and everything else, because you aren’t generally do a large job project in smaller towns, just kind of the way that works. For housing, that can really uplift the whole community. I think that would be great. That was one of the things we talked about as we were working with Hinson’s staff, because a lot of the smaller towns don’t apply for this kind of funding.”

The supervisors approved a letter of support for the grant application during a special meeting held earlier this morning.