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Housing development


Community Housing Initiatives is proud to offer approximately 1,500 homes to people and families across Iowa through rental housing we have developed.  Every apartment community we have developed is unique, and all of them respond to different needs that exist in the communities they serve.

In the 1990s, we began our work focused on helping rural Northwest Iowa communities that had been battered by the farm crisis produce affordable housing, sometimes the first built there in years.  Since that time we have developed new partnerships that have given us the opportunity to work in 30 cities around Iowa, and we now provide a wide range of housing choices in some of Iowa's smallest towns and largest cities.

Iowans need affordable housing

A generally accepted guideline is that housing is affordable if it does not cost more than ⅓ of a household’s total income.  The University of Iowa's Public Policy Center estimates that about 2 in 5 renter households in Iowa communities are "cost burdened" by their rent, meaning they pay more than is affordable for them, and 1 in 5 Iowa households was paying more than 1/2 of their income toward housing in 2010.  We help address these issues.

The many benefits affordable housing provides are well documented.  Safe, decent, and affordable housing stabilizes families and is related to better health outcomes.  Children who grow up in stable housing conditions tend to perform better in school and show fewer behavioral problems.  Having affordable housing in communities bolsters economic growth by ensuring all segments of the workforce have a quality place to live.

What do we provide

Most of CHI’s apartments were developed under the rules of two federal housing programs, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program and the HOME program; generally, our rental procedures and policies follow the rules of those funding sources. To qualify and rent one of the apartments developed this way, a household's income must fall in a certain range.  People who qualify pay a "below market" rent that is more affordable for their household income.

The guidelines under which we develop housing change somewhat each year, and these are not the only two programs we have used to create housing.  Therefore, people who are looking for housing should always begin by speaking with one of our local property managers around the state.

What makes us different

CHI is proud to have worked with Iowa communities for more than two decades to tailor housing solutions that meet unique community needs.  We have several tools at our disposal to accomplish this:
  • Partnership with communities.  We work closely with communities to locate housing where it is needed, include amenities residents enjoy, and be good neighbors.  The wide range of apartment communities we operate proves we rise to the challenge of delivering communities the unique housing options they need.
  • Historic adaptive re-use.  A particular point of pride for CHI is our work to preserve historic structures that communities love by giving them new life as apartment buildings.  Across Iowa, we have helped protect historic libraries, schools, hotels, and other structures by converting them to housing.
  • Housing for people with special needs.  CHI is a significant provider of housing to elderly and disabled people across Iowa, and we provide a range of supportive services in our apartment communities to ensure our residents' needs are met.
  • We manage the housing we developed.  With few exceptions, we operate the housing we have developed.  We remain connected to our residents and committed to the quality of our apartment communities long after construction ends.