Government

Applications open to serve on Affordable Housing Commission in Cedar Rapids

(File photo) Construction continues on the Crestwood Ridge Apartments building in northwest Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Thursday, April 5, 2018. The CommonBond Communities affordable housing project sets aside 10 percent of units as permanent homeless housing and provide on-site case management. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
(File photo) Construction continues on the Crestwood Ridge Apartments building in northwest Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Thursday, April 5, 2018. The CommonBond Communities affordable housing project sets aside 10 percent of units as permanent homeless housing and provide on-site case management. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The application window now is open to serve on a long-dormant, recently reinstated commission tasked with reviewing affordable housing in Cedar Rapids.

The Affordable Housing Commission will meet three to four times a year to review requests for public tax incentives, “discuss opportunities to leverage resources based on local needs, and identify legislative issues that may include new trends or barriers to access programs,” according to a city description.

“The purpose of the Affordable Housing Commission is to identify housing needs of low-to-moderate income citizens, recommend effective strategies and programs to meet area needs, and assist in implementing activities that support housing goals in Cedar Rapids,” according to the city.

The commission went dormant in the late 1990s when other organizations began filling a similar role and the commission no longer had money to distribute.

Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart and council member Scott Olson called for its reinstatement on the campaign trail last year after the rocky approval of Crestwood Ridge Apartments, which raised questions about how affordable housing was being managed.

Hart will make the appointments to the commission, which will be approved by the City Council. Initial appointments will be for one- to three-year terms.

The application deadline is July 31.

Applications can be found online at Cedar-Rapids.org by searching “Board and Commission Application” or by requesting an application from the city clerk’s office by calling (319) 286-5060.

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In June, the council supported creating a commission of 21 members represented with one person each from Willis Dady Homeless Services, Habitat for Humanity, Matthew 25, Waypoint Services, HACAP, Affordable Housing Network Inc., United Way of East Central Iowa, Linn County Housing Trust Fund, Civil Rights Commission, NAACP, Iowa Legal Aid, Linn County Veteran Affairs, Linn County Community Services, a nonprofit lender, a Realtor, landlord, a housing developer and a community member from each of the city’s quadrants.

l Comments: (319) 398-8310; brian.morelli@thegazette.com

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