The Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) and the Iowa Association of REALTORS® (IAR) announced that a rural Iowa home development and homebuyer education partnership between NextHome Journey real estate group, Soyland Homes and Forest City Economic Development is the winner of the Inaugural Iowa Homeownership Incubator Program. The winning initiative will receive $20,000 to advance their efforts.
“Homeownership benefits Iowans, communities and businesses alike,” said IFA Executive Director Debi Durham.
“This is why we're pleased to host this competition to support the proactive and innovative efforts exactly like that of NextHome Journey, Soyland Homes, Forest City Economic Development and their city and employer partners as they work to advance financial literacy and homeownership across the state.”
The Iowa Homeownership Incubator program challenged financial institutions and real estate companies to submit proposals for innovative financial literacy initiatives around homeownership. The proposals were required to include partnerships and the promotion of IFA’s homeownership programs.
Three finalists were selected, including GreenState Credit Union, Iowa State Bank and NextHome Journey. The finalists pitched their initiatives to a panel of state and national industry leaders representing IFA, IAR, the National Association of Home Builders and the Mortgage Bankers Association at the HousingIowa Conference to determine the winner.
“Homeownership is the leading driver of economic security and wealth creation for Iowans,” said IAR CEO Gavin Blair.
“This is why we’re pleased to partner with IFA on the new Homeownership Incubator to help open the pathway to more families, especially Iowans long locked out of this wealth-building opportunity.”
NextHome Journey, an Ames-based real estate group has partnered with Soyland Homes and Forest City Economic Development to work with cities, economic development groups, employers, area suppliers, builders, local lenders and real estate professionals to bring long-lasting growth to rural Iowa through both homebuyer education and housing development in rural Iowa. The initiative is currently working with several cities including Eagle Grove, Forest City, Hampton, Latimer, Ogden and Webster City with several others expected to be added soon.
“Our goal is to not only provide homebuyer education in partnership with cities and employers, but also to bring new housing stock to rural areas of the state by revitalizing vacant in-lots and neighborhoods,” said Kelli Excell with NextHome Journey.
“We are already assisting seven Iowans in purchasing newly-constructed homes in rural Iowa and the incubator funds will allow us to expand to more communities over the next year.” More information about the initiative and how to schedule a city or employer sponsored homebuyer education event is available at nexthomejourney.com