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SICOG honored with award

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013 10:46 a.m. CDT

The Southern Iowa Council of Governments (SICOG) Housing Trust Fund was recently awarded the Housing Iowa Single-Family Housing Development Award at the IowaFinance Authority’s 2013 HousingIowa Conference in Coralville.

Providing Assistance for Teachers Housing (PATH) is a program proven to be successful in helping teachers achieve their life goals – educating youths and owning a home. The program was designed to provide an incentive for teachers to purchasehomes by providing a $20,000 forgivable loan.

The funds are in the form of a principal buy-down, reducing the monthly mortgage payment. The $20,000 is forgiven over a 10-year period to encourage longevity and stability.

This program helps keep young teachers in the local area by providing assistance for affordable housing and encouraging teachers to develop a foundation in the community. By having teachers that are established and committed, it allows freedom for educators to focus on teaching youths.

The program has seen early success, and five teachers have already taken advantage of the funding. In addition, the program has already met the following objectives it set out to accomplish:

• Created partnerships

• Assisted moderate and below-income persons obtain affordable housing

• Leveraged additional dollars from non-traditional sources

• Substantially reduced the amount of income expended on housing

• Helped in the retention of quality teachers

PATH is not only beneficial to the individual teachers, but will also prove to be a recruiting tool that will help lure the best and brightest teachers for years to come.

“I congratulate Southern Iowa COG Housing Trust Fund on their commitment to affordable housing in their community and for providing an avenue for teachers to become first-time home buyers. The benefits of PATH will reap many benefits, not only for the teachers, but for their local communities for many generations to come,” saidIowa Finance Authority Executive Director Dave Jamison.

“The Southern Iowa COG Housing Trust Fund is honored and humbled to receive this recognition from the Iowa Finance Authority,” said Timothy Ostroski, executive director of SICOG. “The SICOG HTF tries to implement programs that are beneficial to individuals, communities and the area that we serve.”

An independent panel of judges scored the HousingIowa awards. More information on the HousingIowa Conference is available at: www.IFAMeetings.com.

The Iowa Legislature created The Iowa Finance Authority, the state’s housing finance agency in 1975 to undertake programs to assist in the attainment of housing for low- and moderate-income Iowans.

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