Ottumwa, Iowa – The City of Ottumwa is continuing an exterior home improvement incentive program for the second year. The Blocks to Neighborhoods program will reimburse property owners up to $2,500 for exterior property upgrades. In addition, the program hopes to strengthen neighborhoods by bringing at least three neighbors together to complete the improvement projects.
“This program is about making a difference block-by-block,” said Community Development Director Zach Simonson. “Projects on a neighborhood scale create a transformative change. We expect to see a magnified impact beyond what we would get from a project on just one property.” Applications will be reviewed through a competitive grant process, with weight given to the location of properties, number of neighbors participating, and overall impact of exterior upgrades. If selected, residents will receive a 2-to-1 reimbursement for approved exterior upgrades to their property. Reimbursement will be provided to property owners after completing their project.
The Legacy Foundation has awarded $40,000 to the City to support the program, increasing their initial budget from $60,000 to $100,000 over two years. “We are excited to provide continued support to the Blocks to Neighborhoods program, which offers a remarkable opportunity for homeowners to enhance their properties. For every $1 invested by homeowners, the program will provide an additional $2,” stated Kelly Genners, President of the Legacy Foundation. Applications for the program will be accepted by the City of Ottumwa from June 2 – June 30. Approved projects will be notified by July 13, 2023.