If you're on the market for a new home, you may want to consider building in Bloomfield, Iowa. The city's New Construction Housing Incentive program offers homeowners up to $15,000 to build a new home in Bloomfield city limits.
"The program was developed to encourage new construction in our community," Tammy Roberts, community development director for the City of Bloomfield, explains.
The program is designed to help those who are able to pay a mortgage but who do not have enough for a down payment on a home.
"Basically, we wanted to help put our citizens in a position of homeownership while increasing new housing stock in our community," Roberts says.
So far the program has resulted in five new homes built, four under construction, and three applications approved to begin construction.
"The program has been, we think, a huge success," Roberts says.
Since the program began, the city has seen 12 new homes built in three years. In comparison, only one new home was built in city limits in the 10 years prior to the program.
To apply for the program or learn more, visit the City of Bloomfield's website.
In addition to their New Construction Housing Incentive Program, the City of Bloomfield has launched three other initiatives to benefit residents: an energy efficiency program, a partnership with Area 15 Regional Housing, and working with Citizens Mutual Telephone to provide fiber optics for more rural businesses.
The city's energy efficiency program provides rebates to citizens who purchase new energy-efficient appliances and air conditioning units. The program helps make older homes more energy-efficient, lowers community utility bills, and reduces the area's carbon footprint. Bloomfield's partnership with Area 15 Regional Housing allows them to incorporate Area 15's programs that assist homeowners and landlords/renters with home repair and rehabilitation costs. And lastly, thanks to Citizens Mutual Telephone, the City of Bloomfield is focused on helping their businesses and new remote workers connect with the world through high-quality internet.
"We are able to provide these services to the influx of people moving from urban to rural areas," Roberts says. "They are able to connect remotely and work seamlessly."
Residents aren't the only ones reaping benefits from life in Bloomfield. Business owners in the area receive tax incentives when starting or expanding business in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts. The city is also in an Opportunity Zone, creating further tax opportunities for building up and expanding businesses.
Beyond monetary incentives, Roberts shared what makes Bloomfield a special place to live and work.
"It's the best of both worlds; many urban amenities with a rural, welcoming environment," Roberts says. "The simple yet intricate community we live in provides us with a safe, fun, laid back lifestyle while still providing a way for us to be employed at whatever level we wish to maintain the lifestyle we wish. There isn't a ceiling to hit simply because we live in a rural area."
Roberts is passionate about providing for her community; after all, she grew up here.
"I moved away for 17 years and have been back home for 17 years," Roberts explains. "I lived in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Florida, Wisconsin, and Nebraska, and I compared those places to home. While there are many wonderful and beautiful things in those areas, Bloomfield offers a cohesiveness, work ethic, love for our neighbors and our community unlike anywhere else that I have lived."
Always Moving Forward
Roberts plans to continue meeting new development goals for the city. Several are in the works, including:
Some of these goals are well on their way to being reached, despite COVID-19 delays. Six historic downtown buildings are currently being restored — the most the city has ever restored at the same time.
"We have many of our goals underway and expect several of them to be completed in 2022," Roberts says. " I fully expect, with the team and community we have, that we will reach those goals soon."
Visit the City of Bloomfield's website to learn more about their incentive programs and development goals.