DREAMS. Innovative programs of the City of Dubuque to renovate once-abandoned and dilapidated houses and stabilize deteriorating neighborhoods. Starting in 1993, the City purchased rundown property which was then sold to low-to-moderate income residents and first-time buyers. Financing was secured through one of four lenders with the City often providing a long-term second mortgage.
Participants were required to take thirteen-week courses in finance, budgeting and rehabilitation of older homes and then live in the house for five years or pay a penalty. By 1996, investment in some of the city's oldest neighborhoods totaled $659,481. Of those involved in the program, eleven families had renovated houses increasing their assessed value by 300%. No family had defaulted on a loan.