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DeWitt project converting insurance building into housing receives state tax credit

This project is one of 49 across the state this year to receive the credit
Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 11:42 PM CDT
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DEWITT, Iowa (KWQC) - On Tuesday, the Iowa Economic Development Association announced 49 different housing projects across the state would receive a credit from the Workforce Housing Tax Credit Program.

“It includes a tax credit that can assist the developer with offsetting their state income tax liability and it also provides a refund of sales and used taxes that are paid on an awarded housing project which is typically going to be sales tax used on construction materials,” IEDA Community Investments Team Leader Nichole Hansen said.

One of this year’s recipients was for a project in Dewitt, which is converting a closed insurance building into 53 studio, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom rental units. The nearly 100-year-old Iowa Mutual Insurance building is set to become the Iowa Mutual Lofts in Fall 2022.

John Maxwell owns the post office within walking distance of the soon-to-be lofts and is excited for what the new housing brings to the area. Maxwell said.

“It’s great for so many things, it’s great for the schools, it’s great for the economic development of the communities, it really has a big impact,” Maxwell said, ”Isn’t it wonderful to take a building such as the building behind us and be able to recycle it if you will or make it better to bring residents into the area which means jobs for the area, which means people having the jobs in the area, it’s just a win-win all around.”

Hansen said conversion projects like DeWitt’s were a priority among those chosen this year. She also said some money set aside was for projects for smaller, more rural areas as well. Specifically, for the 88 smallest counties in Iowa.

“What we know is that oftentimes it is more expensive to develop more housing in more rural areas because of labor costs, because of supply costs, because of the costs associated with transporting materials from Point A to Point B,” Hansen said, ”It’s hard to develop vibrant communities across the state if there aren’t affordable units, workforce housing for people to live in.”

“We just see this as another way that we’re working to invest in and strengthen Iowa’s economy,” Hansen said.

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