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Flood of 2008

ROOTs Homeownership Initiative

In June 2008, the City of Cedar Rapids experienced catastrophic flooding that devastated core neighborhoods of the community. Over 1,000 blocks in the heart of the community were flooded. 5,390 homes belonging to more than 18,000 citizens were affected. 

ROOTs - Rebuilding Ownership Opportunities Together 

ROOTs was a partnership between the City of Cedar Rapids and the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) to help replace housing lost in the 2008 flood. The program provided a 25% down payment incentive to qualified buyers who purchased a new home in the City's core districts.

The program closed in 2017. 

Program Stats

  • 869 homes were built and sold to income qualified households through four rounds of the program
  • 286 homes were built on infill lots
  • Partnered with 58 local builders and 53 local lenders
  • Public investment of over $40 million; private investment of over $80 million
  • Assessed values for the new homes built on infill properties doubled the pre-flood value, increasing the city’s tax base
  • Totaled approximately $20 million pre-flood (2008)
  • Decreased to $3 million post-flood (2012)
  • Increased to almost $40 million after redevelopment (2017)

Community Impact

  • Encouraged families to establish permanent residency in Cedar Rapids and contribute to their neighborhoods, communities, and employers
  • Created quality, affordable ownership opportunities as an alternative to renting
  • Replenished homes lost in the 2008 floods
  • Created unique mixed-use development opportunities, opening the door for more residential and commercial hubs
  • Residential and economic development go hand-in-hand for stronger communities
  • Incorporation of "green" building practices, supporting the sustainability efforts of infill housing
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