Affordable Housing Advocates in Iowa Urge Congress to Expand the Housing Credit

Chris Hensley, a Des Moines city councilwoman, and Eric Burmeister, executive director of the Polk County Housing Trust Fund, make the case for supporting the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act as a critical step to support Iowa’s cost-burdened renters. In Iowa, more than 74,800 households are severally cost-burdened, meaning they spend more than half their income on rent each month, and an average minimum wage worker would need to work 80 hours a week to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment in the state. This shortage of affordable housing excludes nurses, teachers, welders, retail workers and EMTs from living in the state, write Hensley and Burmeister, leaving a dearth of essential services in Iowa communities. The Housing Credit has created nearly 30,000 jobs and generated $2.79 billion in Iowa since it was created 30 years ago, and expanding the Housing Credit by 50 percent, as proposed in the Senate version of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, is estimated to create an additional 400,000 affordable homes and support nearly 500,000 jobs nationwide over the next ten years.

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