Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Five additional homes will come to Southeast Iowa by the end of 2021 from Homes for Iowa, Inc.
Homes for Iowa, Inc is a private-public partnership that offers offenders training in several building trades. The Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission (SEIRPC) has a partnership with Iowa Prison Industries to make up the program.
The first house was built in 2019. By the end of 2021, 28 homes will have been built and delivered to 20 different counties throughout Iowa.
The five homes currently in Southeast Iowa are located in Keokuk (2), West Point (1), Winfield (1) and West Burlington (1).
Two homes are in the planning phase for Henry County. Forty-two homes are planned for 2022.
Currently, Homes for Iowa, Inc can build two homes per month. The hope is to increase that number to five by 2023.
SEIRPC Executive Director and Homes for Iowa, Inc Board President Mike Norris says that improvements to production will come from a $10,000,000 donation from Governor Reynolds through the $100,000,000 recovery plan act fund.
They plan to build numerous additions to increase the rate and amount they can produce.
"We're going to buy three years' worth of building materials," Norris said. "We're going to buy a second home moving set up. We're also going to put up a material storage and shop facility. It's going to allow us to grow a lot quicker than what we would have been able to otherwise."
The homes are built in one piece outside of the Newton Correctional Facility. Houses are 1,200 square-foot ranch-style units. The homes feature three-bedroom and two-bathrooms. Each of the homes is completely finished, with the exception of a finish floor, gutters and home appliances.
To build a house without land cost is relatively $160,000. Cost with garage and lot are anywhere from $180,000 to $190,000. For homes to be delivered and set on the foundation, it currently costs $75,000.
That delivery price is expected to increase in 2022.
"In 2022, they're expected to be $90,000," Norris said. "They won't be any higher than $90,000, but we're trying to drop the price. That is due to the commitment of the Governors $10 million were going to see how much we can drop it to benefit the end buyers."