At least 30 military veterans have moved to eastern Iowa’s Clinton County in recent years, thanks in large part to incentives being offered through Home Base Iowa.
The Clinton County board of supervisors recently approved $1,500 in closing costs so a retired veteran from southern California could buy a home in the county. County Auditor Eric Van Lancker says the man has a job lined up.
“He’s very excited about moving to Iowa,” Van Lancker says. “He’s going to work at the Thompson prison. He came from the hustle-bustle of L.A. and was ecstatic that this program was offered to veterans and he’s happy to live here in Iowa.”
The federal prison at Thompson, Illinois, is just across the Mississippi River from Clinton. Since the county started making use of the program in 2016, the majority of veterans who have moved to the area got help buying a home, while some even got assistance coming to the county for job interviews.
Van Lancker says the total expense so far is around $41,000. “I’m sure part of our success is having the Thompson prison located there but what Home Base Iowa does is we give them incentive,” Van Lancker says. “We’re trying to build our population back and Home Base Iowa and the Student Loan Assistance program helps them chose to live here. I’d say it’s a pretty successful program.”
Home Base Iowa has active programs in 90 Iowa communities and the incentives vary from one community to the next. The one-of-a-kind program helps veterans by connecting them with over 2,100 Iowa businesses that pledged to hire over 10,000 veterans.
(By Dave Vickers, KROS, Clinton)