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Marion Community Build Press Event Set for September 25th

Home Rehabilitation Program to Invest in Core Neighborhoods

Published Monday, September 21, 2020
by Emily Russ

Marion, IA – Marion Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) announces the launch of Marion Community Build, a program of Community Promise. The effort is a new partnership together with the City of Marion, Marion Independent School District and Linn-Mar Community School District.

For more than thirty years the school districts have constructed new homes through the Building Trades program. Students worked throughout the year to build a new single-family home within the community. Through Marion Community Build, MEDCO will now purchase deteriorated single-family homes for students to complete full rehabilitations that support low to moderate income individuals and families.

Community members are invited to attend a press event at 2 pm on Friday, September 25th outside the home at 330 8th Avenue, Marion. Parking will be available in the Wells Fargo parking lot on the corner of 8th Avenue and 3rd street. Project leaders will issue brief remarks followed by a tour of the home. Students will also be on site and available for interviews. Attendees are asked to wear face coverings and practice social distancing.

The program aligns with Community Promise to invest in deteriorating neighborhoods, equip students with hands on experience in the trades, increase property values, and inspire neighborhoods to reach higher.

MEDCO purchased the home at 330 8th Avenue in Marion and reallocated its current revolving loan fund to provide capital for improvements. The City of Marion will leverage a portion of LMI (low- and moderate-income) funds to assist with costs associated with the construction, maintenance, and sale of the property.

“This program has so many positive components to it, we’re investing in some of the older core neighborhoods that need fresh energy. We’re creating new and affordable housing options for individuals and families and at the same time equipping and inspiring the next generation of workforce that want to learn about the trades,” said MEDCO President Nick Glew.

The program has a total of eight students this fall, five from Marion High School and three from Linn-Mar. “The students are excited to start working on the home and learn new things. We know to expect the unexpected with a home remodel and students will see how we’re able to adapt to a circumstance and continue moving forward,” said Building Trades instructor Dennis Fleege.

“The Community Build collaboration with MISD and Linn-Mar is an amazing opportunity for students to gain life lessons and skills to better prepare themselves for entering the construction and trades industry, but equally important to simply prepare them for life. The construction industry has been and currently has a significant shortage in skilled workers. Furthermore, by including them in discussions with all the suppliers, contractors, and other entities involved in the purchase, rehabilitation and sales process, the goal is to encompass the students with invaluable life skills and lessons,” said MEDCO Project Manager Dustin Kern.

More information can be found online: https://www.medcoiowa.org/marioncommunitybuild.

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ABOUT MEDCO: The Marion Economic Development Corporation exists to be economic development thought leaders who drive competitive advantage for Marion.

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