Iowa City Housing Information

Housing & Homeless Needs Assesment:
Housing Needs Assessment


I. Development of the 2001-2006 Consolidation Plan (CITY STEPS) II. Housing & Homeless Needs Assesment III. Housing Market Analysis IV. Strategic Plan V. Certifications VI. Appendices
A. General Estimated Housing Needs B. Housing Needs Assesment C. Homeless Needs D. Supportive Housing Needs of Non Homeless Special Needs Populations E. Lead Based Paint Hazards
1. Renters 2. Owners 3. Elderly Persons 4. Persons with HIV/AIDS & their Families 5. Persons with Disabilities
6. Discussion of Cost Burden and Severe Cost Burden 7. Overcrowding 8. Substandard Housing 9. Discussion of Disproportionately Greater Need Based on Race or Ethnicity 10. Maxfield Computer Model Analysis


Iowa City has experienced a small population increase of approximately one percent since the 1990 Census. This increase, while not significant, has increased the pressures on the housing market as it reacts to meet the housing needs caused by the previous decade’s unanticipated growth of 18 percent, which has the effect of creating "pent up demand". Additionally, the number of households has increased by 1,369 or 6.2 percent. The population did not increase proportionately to the increase in households. This is probably reflective of an increase in the student population at the University of Iowa and the reduced size of households in the general population of Iowa City.

Table II.1

click to enlarge (27K)

Iowa City has a predominately young population. The median age is 24.8, which is lower than both the state (34.0) and national level (35.2), and reflects the student population at the University of Iowa and Kirkwood Community College. Another deviation from national norms is that only 24 percent of the population is under 18 or over age 65, compared to national estimates of 60 percent and state levels of around 40 percent.

In 1999, enrollment at the University of Iowa is 28,705. Approximately 75 percent, or 21,529 students, reside within Iowa City comprising about 36% of the City's resident population. Due to the student population, the majority of all households in Iowa City are "non-family" and are more likely to be renters. Most off campus students are renters, but it is difficult to determine exactly what percentage of renters are students. Only 46.3 percent of the housing units in Iowa City are owner-occupied. This is very low when compared with a state level of 72.1 percent and a national level of 67 percent. The percentage of owner occupied housing is up 1.3 percent since the publication of the last CITY STEPS in 1995. This increase in homeownership is consistent with national trends.

Table II.1 shows the housing needs of low-income persons and was generated for the City of Iowa City by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from the 1990 Census. Until the 2000 Census is completed this is the most current data available on the housing needs of low-income persons in Iowa City. Therefore, sections of this plan based on 1990 data will be revised when data from the 2000 Census becomes available. The Iowa City Housing Authority (ICHA) provides 1,171 units of rental housing through its programs (Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Program). These 1,171 units supported by the ICHA are not a part of the data in Table II.1 because these households pay only 30% of their income for rent and the rental units they occupy do not have housing problems as defined below because ICHA makes an extensive effort to keep up its housing.

Households with "housing problems" are those which: 1) occupy units lacking complete kitchen or bathroom; or 2) occupy an overcrowded unit (more than one person per room); or 3) are considered cost burdened (where housing costs, including utilities, exceed 30% of gross income whereas housing costs of 50% or more is considered a severe cost burden).

Data in Table II.1 is from the 1990 Census which shows that the total housing needs in Iowa City are as follows.

• 6,476 renter households with housing problems.

• 1,174 owner-occupied households with housing problems.

Table II.1 details needs by income, size of household, elderly needs and type of problem. The next section describes the needs of both rental and owner-occupied households by income group. Since 1990 the City and its partners have been addressing these housing problems, without current data it is not possible to specifically determine the effect of this impact.

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