Gov. Reynolds announces $100 million in pandemic relief funds will go towards housing
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - $100 million from the American Rescue Plan Act will go toward addressing Iowa’s housing shortage. Gov. Kim Reynolds made the announcement Wednesday afternoon during the Housing Iowa Conference at the DoubleTree in downtown Cedar Rapids.
Reynolds said $230 million in increased funding passed last legislative session will go towards current programs that support housing. Wednesday’s announcement of an additional $100 million dollars means a total of $330 million is being allocated to this issue.
Iowa is expected to gain 47,000 more households by 2030, according to Reynolds. She believes people want to come to the state because of the many available jobs, safe neighborhoods, and a low cost of living. The problem is, Reynolds says, there isn’t enough housing to go around. That’s the issue the state is trying to fix.
”We’ve seen a growing mismatch between where job opportunities are thriving and where people can find affordable places to live. This issue requires us to think big and act boldly. It’s too important to really do anything else,” Reynolds said.
The money will go toward several initiatives. That includes building an estimated 36,450 new housing units in the state, and the focus on increasing housing isn’t just happening in the urban areas.
$20 million of the dedicated dollars will help establish more housing in the downtowns of communities with fewer than 30,000 people.
”Iowa’s small towns have a wealth of upper-story housing units waiting to be unleashed if local developers can only overcome the initial financial hurdle. And so this pool of money will provide that crucial boost providing small downtowns across Iowa with a sturdy foundation for more robust economic development,” Reynolds said.
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