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

American Heart Association Hosts Safe Routes to School Legislative Breakfast at Iowa State Capitol

Posted: Mon, January 18, 2016

The American Heart Association of Iowa held their first Legislative Breakfast of 2016 on Wednesday, January 13th at the Iowa State Capitol focusing on the need for a state funded Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program.  As a federally-funded program, SRTS provides the financial resources to repair sidewalks, hire crossing guards, and remove the barriers that discourage parents from allowing their students to walk to school.  Because Iowa has received limited federal funds, the American Heart Association is encouraging the state legislature to invest $1.8 million to create a state-funded Safe Routes to School program.

Supporters and volunteers from across the state joined the American Heart Association at the Iowa State Capitol to talk with their lawmakers about why they support a state-funded SRTS program due to the health, safety and economic benefits it will provide for all Iowans, and especially children.  Supporters were able to talk with approximately 50 Iowa legislators who were in attendance at the breakfast including Senator Liz Mathis, Representative Dave Heaton, Senator Mike Gronstal, Representative Linda Miller, Senator Janet Petersen and Representative Dave Maxwell, who is also a heart disease survivor.  

One supporter who came to talk with legislators at the event was Ashley Christensen, Safe Routes to School Coordinator for Northeast Iowa.  She talked about the health benefits saying, “Children today are not getting enough physical activity which leads to many health issues.  And one of the best ways to create more opportunities for our children to be active is through supporting Safe Routes to School.”

There are safety and economic benefits, along with many others, that a SRTS program would provide as well.  It would cut down on pedestrian accidents because in areas without sidewalks, children are twice as likely to be struck by a vehicle.  And allowing school districts to cut even just one bus route would save a school district $37,000 per year, easing the financial burden on schools already struggling with budget cuts.

To learn more about Safe Routes to School in Iowa the public is encouraged to contact the American Heart Association’s Safe Routes to School Campaign Manager Carrie Mueller at Carrie.Mueller@heart.org or 515-414-3212 or visit www.HealthierIowa.com.

About the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association:
The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association are devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. The American Stroke Association is a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit www.heart.org.

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UERPC January Newsletter

Posted: Mon, January 18, 2016

Some of the headlines you can read about this month:

  • Transportation Alternatives Project (TAP) Applications due February 26, 2016
  • Board Member Spotlight-Mark Kuhn
  • Surface Transportation Project (STP) Applications due February 26, 2016
  • I-Walk Project
  • Housing Fund Receives Grant
  • UERPC Hosts Annual Legislative Event
  • Safe Routes Approved for Funding
  • IowaWorks Did you Know-Apprenticeships
  • IARC Hosts Legislative Event at Capitol
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Funds Available for First Time Homebuyers

Posted: Wed, January 13, 2016

Upper Explorerland RPC has funding to assist First Time Homebuyers and Qualified Veterans with down payment and rehabilitation assistance in the Cities of Decorah, Oelwein, Elkader or Marquette.

With these IFA funds, homebuyers can receive up to $24,999 in assistance for rehabilitation and down payment assistance.

For an application and more information on the First Time Homebuyer Program, please contact Upper Explorerland RPC, at 563-864-7551 and ask for Sarah Snitker, ext. 101 or Michaela Collins, ext. 102. Application can be obtained online at www.uerpc.org.

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Job Opening-Safe Routes to School Coordinator

Posted: Mon, January 11, 2016

SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL COORDINATOR
The Iowa Northland Regional Council of Governments (INRCOG) in Waterloo is seeking a Safe Routes to School Coordinator to work with school staff, children, parent/teacher groups, and community members to increase the number of families and youth walking and biking to school. Bachelor’s degree in Leisure Services, Youth and Human Services, Health Promotion and Education, Public Administration, Marketing, or other related field and one year experience in implementing school age programs, public outreach, or public relations required. Applications may be requested by calling (319) 235-0311 and will be accepted until the position is filled.  EOE

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