Iowa City officials plan open house on affordable housing

Residents can ask questions, provide feedback Wednesday

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IOWA CITY — On the heels of residents of some of the most affordable apartments in Iowa City being told they must move, city officials have planned an open house to speak with the community about affordable housing issues.

Representatives from the city manager’s office and the Neighborhood and Development Services office plan to attend the open house, which is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn St. Officials will answer questions and receive feedback on the city’s Affordable Housing Action Plan.

The City Council “intends to have another work session discussion on these recommendations going forward,” said Simon Andrew, assistant to the city manager.

Andrew said those whoattend should get fliers explaining the 15 recommendations to improve affordable housing, which were part of a presentation made to the City Council in June.

Recommendations include developing a system for distributing dollars from the Affordable Housing Fund and changing City Code to loosen restrictions and spur affordable housing development.

The City Council voted last week to provide more than $50,000 in aid to Rose Oaks residents after their leases weren’t renewed. Earlier this summer, Forest View Trailer Court residents were told by developers they may have to move from their homes, which many feared would mean losing them.

Affordable housing is a major component of the city’s most recent strategic plan. The City Council set a goal in the plan to address the lack of affordable housing by identifying specific strategies to improve it.

To do this, city staff plans to report the feedback it receives from the open house to the City Council. Andrew said the City Council should discuss these results within the next couple of months so it can make final decisions on the actions it wants to take.

Iowa City residents also can provide feedback by emailing it to affordablehousing@iowa-city.org or mailing it to the City Manager’s Office in City Hall at 410 E. Washington St.

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