New housing proposal receives city support

The Marshalltown City Council gave its support for a proposed development of 36-40 single family homes Monday night.

The lease-purchase housing development was pitched to the city earlier this month by the Miller Valentine Group. The homes feature three to four bedrooms, two baths and two car garages.

The development would be on a 7-acre site at the intersection of Fifth and High Street or on a 3-acre parcel on High Street.

Michelle Spohnheimer, housing and community development director, said she thinks the development would be good for Marshalltown.

“We see a lot of need for three and four bedrooms,” Spohnheimer said. “We get that call and request coming in daily in our office for what our quality, good, three and four bedroom units are and so the opportunity is out there. I think this is a good opportunity that has come to us and I do recommend it.”

Spohnheimer said although it would be classified low-income housing, people shouldn’t have a stereotype in mind.

“We lose a little bit of sight on what low income is and have a mind set and stereotype of what low income housing may be,” Spohnheimer said. “But in reality a three, four bedroom home could easily be a family working full time wages at a job here.”

She said those are typical Marshalltown families, so the need is high.

Anyone who would live in a home in the development would lease it for 15 years and at the end of the 15 year period there would have an option to buy.

“They rent it and later on, 15 years from now, they buy it for the difference, that remaining debt,” said Pete Schwiegeraht, developer from Miller Valentine Group

The Miller Valentine Group has three developments in Iowa, two are in Altoona.

The Miller Valentine Group will submit an application to the Iowa Finance Authority seeking tax credits for the project.

“Typically support (from the city) is going to help them score better on an application than if a community does not want a project,” Spohnheimer said. “IFA is looking for community support because they want to make sure they are funding projects that are going to be positive to a community.”