Iowa Creates Model for Affordable Housing Project

January 29, 2011 / Russell Legato, Residential Property Analyst

City council members in Iowa are putting together a housing model to determine where and how an affordable housing project, which is funded by the city, can be built. The council is implementing hard- and – fast policy in approving the affordable housing project’s location in the city. The computerized housing model uses school, demographic, and crime data to decide on the project’s location.

Iowa Creates Model for Affordable Housing Project

Iowa council members, having a dispute with The Housing Fellowship— a provider of quality affordable homes for rental and ownership for lower income residents of the Iowa City area, will consider the planned affordable housing project’s model on Monday.

The council’s decision will be based on seven different priority data points, and locating affordable housing project that will be receiving funds from the Community Development Block Grant and HOME program.

In considering the affordable housing project’s location, Iowa will be putting extra weight— about 40 percent, to its decision on the site’s distance from existing housing projects in the area, which also received funding from the government.

One factor affecting the decision will be elementary education mobility rate— or the percentage of students that are “in-school” for one calendar year.

Other factors include median household income—about 10 percent, residential sales prices— about 10 percent, crime rate— 10 percent, Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (elementary school) — 5 percent, and elementary school reduced and free lunch rate— 5 percent.

The city of Iowa receives about $1.5 million to $2 million yearly in HOME program and CDBG funding. A part of the funding is used to finance owner-occupied and rental affordable housing project.

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