The Washington County Board of Supervisors has joined Benton, Jones and Iowa counties to form a housing trust through the East Central Iowa Council of Governments. Washington Economic Development Director Ed Raber told KCII he’s pleased the Board moved forward with the project, that if approved by the state, would offer each county roughly a four to one match for funds spent on approved affordable housing projects. Washington County Supervisors approved more than $16,000 in startup funds for the project, meaning roughly $65,000 could become available. Raber says Washington County will use a combination of existing housing grants and money already budgeted for the housing fund to pay initial costs. The four counties will know by the end of the calendar year if the proposed housing trust is accepted, and could start using state funds as early as June.