In the past eight months, two-hundred-37 men and women who’ve been on active duty sometime in the past four years have gotten state help in buying their first home.
Lyndsay Thrane has been in the Iowa National Guard for the past 15 years and served in Kuwait for a year, a tour of duty that ended in February. She works at Camp Dodge in Johnston and found out about the program in an e-mail. “I looked into it more when I decided that I was going to purchase a home and found out that I qualified for it, being a veteran,” Thrane says. “So, I dug into it a little bit deeper and here we are today.” Here is a nearly-new, three-bedroom home in Urbandale, a Des Moines suburb.
“We’re excited that we finally have a house and a yard,” Thrane says. “My son keeps bugging me now for a dog.” Her 10-year-old son, Brandon, is also excited about the house because his best friend lives right across the street. Brandon says his new house is “cool and beautiful.” Brandon and his mom used to live in a townhouse they rented.
Lyndsay wanted to start investing in her own property rather than write out that rental check every month. “You want to have it (be) your own,” she says. Thrane got to buy a bit more house than she could have afforded on her own because of the five-thousand dollar grant the state offered to servicemen and women who’ve been on active duty in the War on Terror.
Thrane says she’s extremely grateful to Iowa policymakers, and to Iowa taxpayers, for that home-buying grant. “It’s awesome that the State of Iowa backs up their veterans,” Thrane says. “Just a huge thank you. There’s just not enough words.”
Lieutenant Governor Sally Pederson stood on Thrane’s front law this (Friday) morning to hold a news conference touting the homebuyers program Thrane used.
“We want to highlight one of the things that Iowa has chosen to do for our veterans,” Pederson says. “This is a program that doesn’t exist in any other state.”
Pederson says it isn’t enough to just remember the sacrifices of veterans on Veterans Day, and the program is a “concrete way” the state is showing its “appreciation and gratitude” to veterans. Just over one-million dollars was set aside for the program, but it’s all been spent. Pederson says Governor Vilsack may ask legislators to plug more money into it next year.