Iowa Congressman Jim Leach was invited to attend as the President today signed a pair of housing bills in Washington. The Iowa Congressman from Davenport says Iowa will benefit from a bill that takes a new direction for public housing. Congressman Leach says a redesign of the program could bring money to rural Iowa that’s only been available to big cities up till now. Funds that up to now had only been available for urban areas now will be offered to smaller communities, with particular attention to historic-preservation “main street type” programs, the congressman says. Leach says five-percent of the bill’s funding will go for historic-preservation plans that include housing. He says small towns can get some of that federal money tofix up existing buildings, like finding new uses for the second floors of old main-street buildings. Leach says towns like Albia have set a model for that kind of renewed use for historic buildings. The president today was also slated to sign a bill re-authorizing a Housing And Urban Development program called “American Dreams,” which helps low-income buyers make a down payment on a house of their own. It involves some help with closing costs for the first time, as well as the down payment for low-income home buyers. Leach says the government helps people by enabling them to achieve the American dream of home ownership.
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