Several state agencies took steps today to divert money to a fund to help Iowans rebuild their businesses and homes that were hit by disasters. Iowa Governor Chet Culver says 40-million dollars in state money will be used to get things started until federal money comes through.
Culver was at the Department of Economic Development meeting where money from the Iowa Values Fund was diverted to flood recovery. Culver says they will turn things around as quickly as possible and the state has teams working around the clock to get it set up. Culver says people will be able to begin applying for money next week. Culver says his "Jumpstart" housing initiative is designed to get money to Iowans immediately, and he says the state will also look at other help, such as tax breaks.
Culver says there are a lot of thing the state will have to do legislatively for the flood rebuilding effort and that could include some "tax implications." Culver says FEMA identified 22,000 Iowans who had damage to their homes. Culver says diverting the money from the Iowa Values Fund won’t hurt the economic development program.
Culver says this will actually help at a time when the state desperately needs investment. Culver says the Iowa Values Fund is intended to help businesses, and while this is a "little bit of a curveball" in the way it’s going to be used, Culver says it will help businesses. The governor says it’s important to not let businesses go too long without help.
Culver says the state can’t afford to have businesses not make it, if they want to try and come back. He says they need the help right now. Other money is coming from the Iowa Finance Authority, the Vision Iowa Fund and a couple of other state funds. The program has three components to help people rebuild homes and also to pay their mortgages while rebuilding. A person could get a maximum amount of $72,000 depending on the programs they use.