The Iowa Finance Authority approved more than $5.4 million in grants to 25 Local Housing Trust Funds in December 2012 as part of its Local Housing Trust Fund program. The Iowa State Housing Trust Fund was created in 2003 and supports affordable housing through the state Project-Based Housing Program, receiving 40% of dedicated revenues, and the Local Housing Trust Fund Program, receiving the remaining 60% of revenues generated through the state’s real estate transfer tax.
Since its inception, the State Housing Trust Fund has provided $34.5 million in affordable housing assistance to more than 10,800 Iowa families, and has leveraged another $239.5 million in other funds. “The Local Housing Trust Fund program is evidence of successful public, private partnerships at work all throughout the state,” said Iowa Finance Authority Executive Director Dave Jamison. “These grants … assist Local Housing Trust Funds in moving housing priorities forward and ultimately supporting safe and thriving neighborhoods for Iowa families to work, live and play.”
The Iowa Housing Trust Fund model of supporting local/regional housing trust funds has had a significant impact encouraging the creation of 25 local housing trust funds. As the accompanying map illustrates, these funds are able to address housing needs throughout the state.
The local housing trust funds in Iowa have been able to identify and address affordable housing and homeless objectives unique to their own locales. Each local housing trust fund brings resources to match the funds from the Iowa Housing Trust Fund. Here are a few examples of how funds are being used throughout Iowa:
In rural Iowa:
Floyd County Housing Trust Fund: The 2012 grant will be used to implement a county-wide furnace replacement program for an estimated eighteen low-income households, giving priority to extremely low-income homeowners.
Great River Housing, Inc. The 2012 grant will assist an estimated 43 eligible households through owner-occupied rehabilitation assistance, down payment assistance to home buyers and helping in the acquisition and rehabilitation, resale or demolition of dilapidated homes.
Community Land Trust:
Lakes Community Land Trust: The 2012 grant will provide assistance to an estimated 21 low-income households by funding homeownership support, providing rental housing for persons receiving services under a Home and Community Based Services Medicaid Waiver, providing housing to homeless persons or persons with disabilities, and assisting seniors or others living on fixed incomes to make home repairs and handicapped accessibility improvements to their homes.
Addressing vacant properties:
Polk County Housing Trust Fund: With funds received previously from the Iowa Housing Trust Fund, the Polk County Housing Trust Fund partnered with Community Housing Initiatives, Inc. , the City of Des Moines, and the Midwest Housing Equity Group in revitalization activities. They celebrated the opening of sixteen units of affordable housing located at six properties throughout the metropolitan area. The buildings were constructed and owned by the City of Des Moines and sold to CHI for renovation.
John Wiechmann, president and CEO of MHEG praised the partnership, “Every family deserves a safe, decent and affordable place to live — a place to truly call home. Thanks to CHI’s hard work, this project will provide homes to 16 well-deserving families.”
Contact: Terri Rosonke, Iowa Finance Authority, 2015 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50312 (515-725-4900), or via the Iowa Finance Authority website.