New Home Base Iowa perk approved

Staff report
With a new down-payment incentive, Region 12 Council of Governments has sweetened an already sweet deal for veterans living — or thinking about living — in Greene County.

Carroll-based Region 12 last week approved a new housing down-payment incentive available to any veteran in the region’s Home Base Iowa communities.

Currently, Greene County is the sole Home Base Iowa community in Region 12.

The action came in response to a request from Carroll County as it prepares an application to become part of the program.

Local veterans can now apply for down-payment assistance loans through Region 12 for up to $20,000 — double the amount available to others — with only a flat, $25 closing fee.

In addition, applicants will be able to make up to 120 percent of the area median income and still qualify for assistance.

“The board wanted to do something to support Home Base Iowa and the cities and counties participating in the program,” Marty Danzer, Region 12 chairman and a Carroll County supervisor, said in a statement. “After discussions with local economic development officials, expanding our down-payment assistance benefits was seen as a helpful way the COG could be involved.

“We hope all of our counties become recognized Home Base Iowa communities.”

Home Base Iowa is a state initiative that targets veterans as a source of trained workers who can fill vacant positions, supply needed skills or start a business in Iowa after concluding their military careers.

Greene County took an early lead this year in the state program, with Gov. Terry Branstad designating the county as his first Home Base Iowa community back in March.

The Region 12 down-payment assistance program is now part of a local incentive package already available to veterans.

Those previously established incentives in Greene County include the elimination of closing costs at county banks for veterans applying for certain financing and a 100-percent, three-year property tax abatement.

County businesses also are offering a $2,000 relocation package for new employees and their families.

“Recruiting a trained workforce is one of the top priorities of our region. Not only are our employers hiring, but we have hundreds of positions that will come online within the next 12 to 24 months,” said Guy Richardson, Region 12 treasurer and a Greene County supervisor.

Region 12 serves the counties of Audubon, Carroll, Crawford, Greene, Guthrie and Sac, as well as the cities of Adel, Linden, Minburn, Perry and Redfield in Dallas County, and the city of Madrid in Boone County.

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