Friday, March 2

Affordable Housing and County Housing Trust Funds

There is no question that Iowa's low income housing situation is bad. Since the 1980's, publicly-funded housing has marched steadily backwards putting states, counties, and cities in the position of trying to patch together housing options that meet the needs of communities. Iowa, in 2002, ranked 47th (per capita) for the amount of state revenue spent on housing. Funding from the state for housing and housing assistance programs has been cut by $10 million in the last three years.

In Iowa, there are three county housing trust funds (in Dallas, Johnson, and Polk counties). The purpose of housing trust funds, according to the Center for Community Change, "systemically change reliance on annual budget allocations by shifting to committing dedicated public revenue to affordable housing through the creation of housing trust funds. There are now nearly 600 housing trust funds in operation. They dedicate in excess of $1.6 billion to help address critical housing needs throughout the country."

The Housing Trust Fund of Johnson Countyis a little over two years old, receiving funds from a variety of sources including the State of Iowa, HUD, local governments and individual and corporate contributors. All Trust Fund moneys support homes for households at or below the $58,000 level for a four person household. Funding is intended to be a layer of financing that is offered at attractive terms to help make more affordable housing financially feasible in a very expensive housing market.

Funding is limited to organizations, businesses and governments because the Trust Fund is not set up to administer the application, funding and monitoring processes involved in funding individual funding requests. HTFJC is currently staffed by one part time employee.

Learn more.

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