SICOG offers housing planning for our members in the region through the use of Housing Needs Assessments. Housing Needs Assessments can assist cities and counties in determining and documenting housing needs and developing a strategic plan for housing. Plans can also be developed to assist communities that have utilized Tax Increment Financing and are required to use a proportion of the taxes generated to assist low-to-moderate income households. Furthermore, SICOG is willing to have a comprehensive discussion about what funding sources are available for particular projects and how SICOG can help to achieve community-housing goals.

For more information about planning services that SICOG offers, check out our Planning Page for more details.


Grants are available for housing projects. Grants can help fund development projects and programs from the planning stage through implementation and operation. Almost any project, program, or initiative can be funded in part by funding from grant sources outside of the city. SICOG has experience with construction, equipment, staffing, planning, and operations grants. SICOG offers free grant writing services to member communities. Visit the Grant Opportunities page for a full listing of grants available.

The following are housing specific grants that are available to communities.

Grant  Funding Uses Eligible Applicants Estimated Deadlines
FHLB Affordable Housing Program Affordable housing programs – ownership, new construction, rehabilitation, rental projects Local governments, non-profits, and private developers (see article) Spring/summer
CDBG Housing Fund Housing rehabilitation & homeownership assistance Local governments Fall

Available Funds (RLF)– This program is currently suspended.

Downpayment Assistance (Housing Revolving Loan Fund (H-RLF))

The SICOG H-RLF Program was created to help first-time homebuyers (persons who have not owned or purchased a home in the last three years) meet the need for a down payment on a home. At the onset of the program it was determined that the lack of sufficient down payment was a major obstacle for first-time homebuyers. To help close the gap:

  •  Loans up to $5,000 can be made with a dollar for dollar match of the homebuyer’s own down payment funds
  •  The funds available are for down payment assistance only
  •  The interest rate on the SICOG H-RLF loan is a very attractive fixed rate of 2%
  •  The length of the loan is seven years, but the first two years are deferred of interest and payments. By deferring repayment of the principal, the private lenders will have a less risky loan and may be more willing to loan funds to the homebuyers.

SICOG H-RLF loans are available to eligible homebuyers in SICOG’s eight-county region where a 25% local match of the loan amount has been provided by the county, the city, a development group, a lending institution, or other individuals or businesses. Providing local match funds is a positive way for local governments, employers or others to encourage potential homebuyers to remain within their communities as homeowners, help create a stable workforce, and to bring to the community the benefits of homeownership among citizens who might otherwise not be able to purchase their first home.

If you are interested in further information about this program, please call the SICOG office at (641) 782-8491. This program is currently suspended.