Agency Tries to Keep Up with Growing Affordable Housing Need

By Nadia Crow, Reporter

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By Aaron Hepker

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa- Iowa’s housing market is starting to rebound from the flood and recession. But one market is still struggling to meet demand. The recession that started in 2008 devastated the US housing markets. Iowa was more fortunate than many other areas, but the effects were still felt here. Now, Iowa’s housing market is recovering. Especially since the flood of 2008, we have seen plenty of need for affordable housing for people or families with low incomes or who have bad credit. The flood wiped out plenty of neighborhoods. But that doesn’t mean families don’t need a place to live. Enter the affordable housing network and their push to provide more properties at the right price.

“Being in my own it’s like wow I’ve got my own. My son loves his room, I love my room,” said homeowner Tabia Moore.

Tabia Moore went from a homeless shelter to being a homeowner through the Affordable Housing Network. It’s a time of transition in this 18 block radius of Wellington Heights to bring in more owners and fewer renters.

“I was hearing a lot of bad things about the neighborhood, but as soon as I came in my neighbor baked some cookies for me,” said Moore.

Over the past 18 months, the network’s seen 98% capacity in its properties. A home at 1439 Bever Avenue is just one of the 30 units this year to see new renovations and new owners. The three bedroom, three car garage home went for just $425 a month.

“As fast as we get them fully renovated and fully done they go that fast,” said Affordable Housing Network Joe Lock.

The network finds homes for families. Those families might be low income, have bad credit score or don’t have the resume of an ideal client for a traditional mortgage.

“Somebody may have a 550 or 600 credit score, where you might need a 720 to get a conventional mortgage at a bank, we’re able to fill that gap and work with that family,” said Lock.

Executive Director Joe Lock says there’s a growing need for housing in the Cedar Rapids area. And the housing market can only hope to keep up with that demand.

“It is the American dream and that’s one thing that has been constant,” said Lock.

To find out more about the Affordable Housing Network click here. This summer, the affordable housing network plans to team-up with habitat for humanity. That’s when they’ll need volunteers.

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