HOME First Time Homebuyer Program

HOME First Time Homebuyer Program

Upper Explorerland RPC realizes first time homebuyers must make sacrifices to save enough for a down payment on a home, but for some it seems impossible to be able to find the funding to close on the desired property. With the award of the HOME funds, homebuyers may receive up to $24,999 in assistance for rehabilitation and down payment assistance. This program is an affordable way for homebuyers to realize their dream of homeownership. Assistance is in the form of a 5 or 10 year receding forgivable loan.

The HOME Program was created the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990 (NAHA).  The intent of the HOME program is to provide decent affordable housing to lower-income households, expand the capacity of nonprofit housing providers, strengthen the ability of state and local governments to provide housing, and leverage private-sector participation.

Each participating jurisdiction incurs a 25 percent matching obligation for HOME funds it expends.  Matching contribution must be:

  • A permanent contribution to affordable housing
  • From non-Federal sources
  • Provided by any of a broad array of public and private donors.


Homebuyers have to meet their affordability, depending on the amount of HOME funds they receive, but they also have to maintain their home as principal place of residency and have insurance on the property. Principal place of residency and insurance documentation must be submitted to Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) for proof of compliance during the affordability period. The home must meet Iowa's Minimum Housing Standards upon completion.


If you are interested and would like more information on if you qualify, we would like to hear from you! Applications can be picked up at the city halls in each of the participating communities, printed from the documents below or by calling Upper Explorerland RPC, at 563-864-7551 ext. 106. TTY users call 1-800-735-2942. Relay call 7-1-1.


For more information, contact Lori Brockway.

Having Upper Explorerland come into my life was such a blessing!  At first I kept thinking this is too good to be true, but it's not!  I did have to get a loan and overcome a few obstacles, but it was all so worth it.  I got my house and then Upper Explorerland came in and fixed it all up!  It's like brand new.  I could have never done all this work myself financially.  With their help I have a beautiful home and a safe home for me and my son...........So I hope you keep the program going and help other single mothers achieve their dreams, or any family.  Believe me it's not too good to be true.  It's a wonderful program and it really does help people.

News Headlines

UERPC July Newsletter

Posted: Tue, July 21, 2015

Some of the headlines you can read about this month:

  • First Time Homebuyer Funding Available
  • Board Member Spotlight-Les Askelson
  • Protect Iowa Habitat-Observe Mowing Restrictions
  • UERPC Employees Attend Workshop
  • Oelwein IRP
  • SRTS Annual Report Now Available
... [ Read More ]

Housing Program Meeting Being Held

Posted: Wed, May 6, 2015

Housing Program Meeting Being Held
Tuesday, May 19th at 11:00 a.m.
Oelwein Chamber and Area Development
25 West Charles, Oelwein, IA

Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission (UERPC) is hosting a meeting regarding housing programs that are available in Northeast Iowa.  Guest speakers include Jeremy Babcock and Steve Benne with Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), Jerry Floyd and Rita Eble from the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) and Kathy Pfiffner from USDA.

Hot Topics include:

  • IEDA Workforce Housing Tax Incentive Program (WHTIP) is to provide financial incentives for the development of housing.
  • IEDA Owner Occupied Rehabilitation to assist with rehabilitation assistance for low-to moderate income homeowners in their community.
  • IFA First Time Homebuyer or Qualified Veteran program to assist with down payment and rehabilitation assistance.
  • USDA-Repair and Rehabilitation Program to assist applicants with 1% loans and those 62 and older with grants for homeowner rehabilitation.
  • USDA Direct and Guaranteed loan programs for help in purchasing homes.
  • USDA Multi-Family Housing to assist with rental assistance in rural development financed apartments.
  • UERPC Housing Trust Fund Programs-Funding available to assist homeowners and landlords with rehabilitation assistance.
  • UERPC-Housing Choice Voucher program provides rental assistance to those under 50% of HUD’s income guidelines.


This meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at 11:00 A.M. at the Oelwein Chamber and Area Development office at 25 West Charles Street, in Oelwein.  If you are interested in attending this meeting or would like more information please contact Mary Huinker at 563-864-7551 ext. 111 or by emailing Lori Brockway at lbrockway@uerpc.org.

... [ Read More ]

FREE Informational Session on Financing Sources for Businesses

Posted: Fri, May 1, 2015

Clayton County Development Group in Elkader the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in Cedar Rapids and Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission in Decorah are holding an informational session on various sources of financing for start-up & existing businesses.  SBA, a federal government agency devoted to assisting small & medium-sized businesses, will have a representative discussing business loan options, and Clayton County Development Group and Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission will have a representative discussing RLF funds available for businesses.  The 1-1/2 hour session, including questions & answers, will take place on Tuesday, May 12th starting @ 5:30 PM at Clayton County Office Building at 600 Gunder Rd. in Elkader, Iowa.  Register today to attend contact Darla Kelchen at 563-245-2201.

WHAT:       Free informational session on sources of money for businesses
WHO:        New/start-up and existing business owners/managers
WHEN:      Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 starting @ 5:30PM & wrapping up by 7PM
WHERE:    Clayton County Office Building 600 Gunder Rd. Elkader
COST:        Free

Join Clayton County Development, Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission and SBA to learn more about the options available for financing your business.  Also, discussed briefly will be government contracting opportunities and free counseling along with low cost training resources available for businesses.  Get your questions answered.  Register by contacting Darla at the CCDG office at 563-245-2201.

... [ Read More ]

Office Car For Sale

Posted: Mon, April 27, 2015

UERPC is seeking car bids for a 2007 Malibu, LS V6 package, 141,993 highway miles, grey, four-door, cloth interior, very clean. Minimum bid is $2,400.

Please submit sealed bids to Executive Director, Rachelle Howe, UERPC, 325 Washington Street, Decorah, IA  52101.  Bids will be opened at 12:00 Noon on May 7th. You do not need to be present at opening of bids.

... [ Read More ]
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