The coronavirus pandemic not only taught us new skills, but taught us about important social issues. Affordable housing is one of the social issues that was highlighted because of the pandemic. Because of this, the State of Iowa recently announced $1 million of coronavirus funds to be allocated towards housing. As HOME, Inc. and many other housing non-profits have seen, housing is essential. HOME, Inc. has worked diligently since the inception in 1967 to create affordable housing opportunities. We are always grateful when more funding becomes available for affordable housing, and this case is no different.
The new housing support package is meant to build more homes and create help fund more projects in the housing realm. As reported by the Des Moines Register, the money will be allocated in the categories below:
- $65 million to bolster existing housing tax credit programs to fund more projects and help cover increasing costs of housing materials.
- $20 million for downtown housing in towns under 30,000 people.
- $10 million for the Homes for Iowa program, a nonprofit organization that employs inmates at the Newton Correctional Facility to build affordable housing.
- $5 million for pilot programs to promote home repair across Iowa as well as homeownership among minority groups.
We are excited to see this money implemented into sustainable, safe housing. The pandemic has proved that the necessity of housing is a priority and needs to be addressed. Though, for HOME, Inc., the tale is as old as time. We need housing. We need fair housing. We need safe housing. We need quality housing.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) reported that in Iowa there is a shortage of almost 66,000 rental homes. In terms of affordable housing, 28% of renter households are extremely low income. Within that 28% of the Iowa population, 68% of extremely low-income renter households are severely cost burden. By building more affordable homes within the state, we are able to lower that number and improve economic mobility. As always, HOME, Inc. continues to provide housing services and building houses to make home a reality for more people.
NLIHC Iowa data: https://nlihc.org/housing-needs-by-state/iowa