FORT MADISON – The Lee County Board of Supervisors has set a resolution to consider gifting some Fort Madison low-income housing properties to a local non-profit.
The board will hold a hearing on Dec. 4 at 10:01 a.m. at the North Lee County Administration building to determine if the resolution to gift the properties to Fort Madison's 2x4s for Hope, a non profit the county has deemed serves a public purpose.
2x4s for Hope is volunteer group that builds small or what it calls “tiny homes” for homeless veterans. The group completed its first home in Fort Madison this summer.
The move is part of the county’s efforts to divest itself of property in the county it owns and maintains.
The properties would be gifted through a quit claim deed. The properties under consideration include 313 Avenue G, 615 and 617 3rd Street, 325 Avenue G, 327 Avenue G, 331 Avenue G, and 329 Avenue G.
Those properties were previously owned by the county, but managed by the Fort Madison Housing Authority. That relationship was severed when the Housing Authority was alerted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that it was misusing federal funds to maintain the property under the contract with the county.
The transition of the property has been spearheaded by Supervisor Tom Schulz who sits on the county’s Building Committee. That committee was formed earlier this year to look at all county properties to determine which buildings were necessary to maintain under county ownership and which could be sold or gifted to other entities.
Iowa code only allows for the properties to be gifted if they are to be utilized for a public purpose, according to a report from County Attorney Ross Braden and Iowa Code 331.361.
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