Iowa City Housing Information

Strategic Plan:
Affordable Housing


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 Format B. Affordable Housing C. Homelessness D. Other Special Needs E. Non-Housing Community Development Plan F. Barriers to Affordable Housing
G. Lead Based Paint Hazzards H. Anti-poverty Plan and Strategies I. Institutional Structure J. Coordination K. Public Housing Resident L. Monitoring Standards and Procedures
1. Statement of Specific Objectives 2. Proposed Accomplishments


Table IV.1, designed by HUD, shows the general needs of a jurisdiction in a standardized format. The table, as presented, estimates the number of units affected by a particular need and how much money it would require to totally meet this need over the five year period of this plan. The funds needed to satisfy the needs are estimates based upon our best information and represent the total funds needed (public and private), however, these numbers are very high and are not what the City expects to receive in the next five years.

Estimates on how much money the City does expect to receive and allocate for these needs is shown on Table IV.2 and, again, are estimates based upon our best information (from agencies, organizations and experience). This is a more realistic idea of how federal funds received by Iowa City will be allocated over the next five years.

1. Statement of Specific Objectives

Within this plan we have tried to describe and estimate the activities that will be undertaken and at least be partially funded with federal funds in Iowa City over the next five years. Again, since this is a five year overview and we do not know what type of funding requests the City will receive over time we cannot pinpoint the exact number of housing units that will be assisted. The following estimates are based upon the funding requests that have been received and/or funded over the past several years.

a. Influence of Housing Market on Use of Funds

As stated in the Housing Market Analysis section of this plan, Section III. A., the housing market in Iowa City is very tight. This translates to an expensive housing market in both rental and owner-occupied units. In 1997 the City contracted with Maxfield Research, Inc. to perform a housing market analysis. This analysis confirmed and quantified the housing needs for the Iowa City area. Much of the information in this study has been included in Section III of this document. As we plan for affordable housing and the allocation of resources over the next five years the needs outlined within the Maxfield Research study will be used as a guideline.

(1) Rental Assistance

Data from the 1990 Census as shown in HUD Table IV.1 reveal that there are 2141 low income elderly or small and large related households with a cost burden over 30 percent of their gross income. Currently the Iowa City Public Housing Authority has 101 units of public housing and 1,070 Housing Choice Vouchers. In addition, there is a continual waiting list of approximately 300 unassisted households. Because of the high market rents in Iowa City, rental assistance is the most often cited and important need identified by low-income persons. The City intends to continue programs and pursue expansion the amount of rental assistance available.

100 Units New Housing Choice Vouchers (20 annually)

50 Units Tenant Based Rental Assistance (10 annually)

100 Households Housing Skills and Location Assistance (20 annually)

7500 Units Inspections and Re-inspections of Rental Units (1500 annually)

10 Units Congregate Housing for Elderly Persons

(2) Production of New Units

The production of new housing units in Iowa City is primarily being done by the private sector with approximately 160 single-family dwellings and 240 multi-family rental units coming on-line annually (from 1990-1997). One barrier to producing new, affordable housing units is the cost of developable land. Because of this there have not been many "assisted" housing units being built. CDBG and HOME funds are available for the production of new units as feasible.

200 Units New Construction of Rental Housing (25 annually)

250 Units New Construction of Privately Developed Affordable Owner-

Occupied Housing (50 annually)

25 Units Assistance to Homebuyers to Purchase New Housing (5 annually)

(3) Rehabilitation of Old Units

Iowa City has an effective housing rehabilitation program that has been assisting households for over 20 years. Funds have been used primarily for the rehabilitation of owner-occupied units that are owned by low income and elderly persons. Due to the City's tight housing market, the rehabilitation and maintenance of the housing stock is one of the most cost-effective and efficient means of insuring a safe, decent housing stock. The City also had a rental rehabilitation program from 1985 to 1994, but this program has been discontinued as a result of lack of landlord interest and an effective rental inspection program. Rental rehabilitation is an eligible activity and individual requests will be considered in conjunction with our regular CDBG and HOME allocation cycle.

10 Units Rental Accessibility (2 annually)

25 Units Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation and Accessibility (5 annually)

300 Units General Rehabilitation of Owner-Occupied Housing (60 annually)

50 Units Acquisition and Rehabilitation of Units for Rental Housing (10 annually)

$100,000 Rehabilitation of Homeless Shelters or Transitional Housing

(4) Acquisition of Existing Units

Again, due to the housing market the acquisition of existing units is also very expensive. However, there have been several successful activities that have received federal funds to acquire existing housing units. Given the difficulty in acquiring land for affordable housing, this type of activity has been successfully used to provide the City an opportunity to scatter affordable housing projects within the community.

15 Units New Single Room Occupancy

25 Units Affordable Rental Housing for Low Income Persons

30 Units Assistance to Homebuyers to Purchase Existing Housing

2. Proposed Accomplishments

The Strategic Plan section of the Consolidated Plan (CITY STEPS) shows the types of projects or activities that we envision taking place, initiated by the City or other organizations. Since this is a five-year overview, the numbers involving units, households and funds are rough estimates (based upon the past uses of federal funds).

a. Number of Persons to whom the Jurisdiction will Provide Affordable

Housing by Income Type for Rental and Ownership

(1) Extremely Low Income Households (under 30% median income)
(2) Low Income Households (between 31% and 50% median income)
(3) Moderate Income Households (over 51% median income)

The City of Iowa City expects to assist a number of housing projects with CDBG and HOME funds. An estimate of the number of units is listed above within the various sections. Top priority will be given to households under 30% of median income; these are listed as a "HIGH" priority within the CITY STEPS Plan. From the figures above, there will be approximately 955 units of affordable housing being provided within the City of Iowa City. Since priorities are given to lower income households we can conservatively estimate that over one-half of these households will be under 50% of median income. Many of the projects funded with CDBG or HOME funds will be used to assist households under 30% of median income.

b. Time Period of Assistance

Since this is a five year plan, and the projects that receive CDBG and HOME assistance are proposed annually, it is difficult to predict when (in what year) projects will be undertaken. Nearly all of the estimates are based upon the City receiving a consistent source of federal funds throughout the term of this plan. Should less funding become available, the estimates for the projects or units to be completed.


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