Oskaloosa, Iowa offers affordable, quality housing. Several programs have been implemented to make this possible. These programs include a city-wide residential property tax abatement program, a demolition assistance program, a first-time homebuyer revolving loan fund, and education workshops geared toward potential home buyers, lenders, contractors and developers. These programs and initiatives have resulted in the development of six new residential subdivisions and the construction of 215 single family homes and 226 multifamily homes during the period 1991-1999.
Affordable housing opportunities are available to potential homeowners interested in utilizing these programs either by themselves or in conjunction with each other. First, the residential tax abatement program phases in the property tax on new residential development, as well as improvements to existing housing over a five-year period. The abatement program results in a 50% reduction in property taxes on the improved value during the abatement period. Over the five-year abatement period, this program could save the buyer about $6-7,000 on a modest home.
Second, the demolition assistance program provides a forgivable loan to owners of property with dilapidated housing to demolish the house. The loans (maximum of $4,000) are forgiven if the lot is redeveloped within two years. Third, the first-time homebuyer revolving loan fund provides a no-interest loan of up to $3,500 to income eligible borrowers that purchase a home within the city limits of Oskaloosa (other eligibility requirements may apply).
When used together, these three programs not only help make home ownership affordable, but also help to revitalize older neighborhoods within the community.
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