Bringing Back the Housing Rehabilitation Program

KIMT NEWS 3 – Owning a home is an American dream, until life hands you something unexpected.

That’s what happened to Jason and Amy Boomgarden.

“You own this house but you can’t afford to take care of the things that need to be taken care of, and things start falling apart and then your buried under a mortgage that you can’t get out from because your house is falling apart,” said Amy Boomgarden.

At first – keeping up the maintenance at their home was easy-going, until Jason was diagnosed with Dercums disease, leaving him with tumors all over his body.

Amy was a full-time student and working overnights at the time, so fixing up the house was put on the back burner.

Until they found out about the Housing Rehabilitation Grant.

The couple applied and was accepted.

“The guys who did the work were just awesome they, you could tell how much they really cared about our family and were excited to about it,” said Amy.

Steve Wendt, with the North Iowa Area Council of Governments, says the program is for families just like the Boomgardens.

Families who need that helping hand while going through a tough financial time.

“It’s really a struggle for some people to make ends meet and with this program these funds create less housing maintenance, better energy efficiency, and won’t be costly to maintain homeownership,” said Wendt.

And that’s why Wendt is asking the city council of Britt to consider applying for the grant money again.

“The three things the IEDA looks at, Iowa Economic Development Authority, they’re the state agency that award these grant funds. They look at need, impact, and feasibility and we think the city of Britt will score highly in all three of those variables,” said Wendt.

For the Boomgardens the grant money wasn’t just about having their roof, windows, and insulation fixed.

It was also about learning that others really do care.

“It also just gave us hope even though everything was going wrong. We’d had this horrible thing happen with our family, and then we had this hope,” said Amy.

The Britt City Council will be putting the Housing Rehabilitation Grant on their agenda August 5th.

The program would help either 11 or 12 homes receive a face-lift.

If Britt does decide to apply for the grant it will apply to next year.

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