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

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.

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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.

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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.

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To All Local Area Contractors or Developers

Posted: Thu, April 23, 2015

To:             Local Area Contractors or Developers
From:        Sarah Snitker, Program Administrator
RE:           Information on 2 Upcoming Meetings

Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission (UERPC) will be holding an informational meeting for local contractors or developers interested in higher education of their craft.  This meeting will be instructed by Bill McAnally and discuss high performance building information and ways to make homes more energy efficient.  

Bill has more than 35 years of experience in the construction industry.  He was a building contractor for over 15 years specializing in new home and light commercial construction.  During this time he focused on energy-efficient and healthy building methods.  Bill was also a carpentry instructor for Iowa Central Community College for 17 years, eventually serving as Department Chair of Industrial Technology.  Bill now operates Bill McAnally Consulting.

This meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 8:30 A.M. at the Upper Explorerland Conference Room, 134 W. Greene Street, Postville, IA.  This meeting will be free of charge.  

For any contractors interested in bidding or working on projects within the City of Lansing through the Lansing Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Program, this meeting is highly encouraged as it will discuss ways in which work will have to be done for these projects.  

UERPC along with USDA, IFA and IEDA will be hosting a housing incentives meeting to discuss options for housing incentives available in our area. This meeting will discuss the Workforce Housing Tax Incentive Programs, all HOME assistance programs and also about loans and grants available through USDA. This meeting will be held at the Oelwein Economic Development Office at 25 W Charles Street in Oelwein on Tuesday, May 19th at 11 a.m.

If you are interested in attending these meetings or would like more information please contact Sarah at 563-864-7551 ext. 101 or by email at ssnitker@uerpc.org.  

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