110th Day of Session

Today is the 110th day of the legislative session and the last day legislators receive their per diem pay. While the day is seen as the target date for adjournment, that won’t be the case this year. Before adjourning this session, lawmakers still have several outstanding issues to resolve to finish their legislative business.  The House and Senate have stalled over tax policy and budget negotiations and we are being told that the session will likely continue into the next couple of weeks as differences are worked out. Below is a list of bills that the Iowa Housing Partnership is tracking this session.
SF 609: This legislation addresses several economic development pieces, including affordable housing. The housing division include increasing the workforce housing tax credit for to $40 million for one year, with an increase in the rural set-aside from $10 to $12 million dollars. It also extends the repeal date for the Revitalization Tax credit to June 30, 2031. It also strikes the $200k dwelling cost unit cap and replaces with IEDA rules authority.  While it does not include language for the State Housing Trust Fund or disaster recover, the Senate addressed that in separate legislation. It is eligible for consideration by the Senate. Iowa Housing Partnership SUPPORTS.
SF 612 (formerly SSB 1270): This pertains to the State Housing Trust Fund and increases the funding from the real estate transfer tax from $3 million to $5.5 million. An Appropriations subcommittee approved the bill on Monday and it was passed out of the Ways and Means committee on Tuesday and is eligible for consideration in the Senate.  Iowa Housing Partnership SUPPORTS.
SF 611 (formerly SSB 1272): This legislation creates a disaster recovery program fund and a granting mechanism for unobligated funds. The bill was approved by subcommittee on Monday and passed out of the Senate Ways and Means on Tuesday. Like the State Housing Trust Fund bill, it also is eligible for consideration by the Senate.  Iowa Housing Partnership SUPPORTS.
HSB 274: This legislation introduces several measures for affordable housing. It removes the $3 million State Housing Trust Fund cap. It also increases Workforce Housing Tax Credit program from $25 million to $50 million and increases the small city allocation from $10 million to $20 million.  After 3 years, the bill repeals these increases (back to $25m and $10m).  It also strikes the $200K dwelling cost unit cap and replaces with IEDA rules authority. At this time, a subcommittee is not scheduled, which may signal the House’s intent to take up the Senate’s bill when passed by the Chamber.  Iowa Housing Partnership SUPPORTS.
SF 295HF 582: This is Governor Reynolds’ Omnibus Housing bill with several divisions aimed at boosting affordable housing throughout Iowa.  As overall budget negotiations continue, the bill is in the Senate Ways and Means committee for consideration. Once the budget target is known, we expect to learn more about how the funds may be allocated or divided among the proposed programs.  Similarly, a House Ways and Means subcommittee with Reps. Hite, Boden and Jacoby has been assigned.  With the introduction of separate bills in both chambers this week, it is expected that those bills will be the vehicle for any affordable housing programs and the Governor’s bills, as introduced will not see additional movement.
Iowa Housing Partnership continues to work with housing advocates and stakeholders in targeted legislative districts across the state to encourage greater grass-roots contacts with key legislators. Iowa Housing Partnership SUPPORTS.
SF 252HF 720: This legislation prohibits cities and counties from passing ordinances that bar landlords from refusing to accept housing vouchers. Having been passed by both chambers, the bill will be sent to the Governor for her signature when properly enrolled. Iowa Housing Partnership is AGAINST.
SF 373: Introduced by Senator Lofgren, this legislation establishes a homeownership development tax credits for charitable contributions to certain low-income housing developers in Iowa. The bill is in the Ways and Means committee for future consideration. Iowa Housing Partnership SUPPORTS.
HF 626: This legislation aims to provide property tax exemptions for properties located in areas previously ‘redlined’ and subjected to lending discrimination. The House passed the bill unanimously, 96-0. Being funnel proof, it is eligible for consideration by the full Senate Ways and Means committee. Iowa Housing Partnership SUPPORTS.
SF590: Senator Mark Lofgren’s legislation, formerly SF 100, provides for the creation of land banks. Senators Dawson, Jochum, and Roby Smith held a subcommittee on the bill and moved it forward for consideration by the full Ways and Means committee, where it was also approved. Iowa Housing Partnership SUPPORTS.
HF 833: This legislation (formerly HF 442) allows for the termination of a tenancy only for material violations of the lease, for legitimate business reasons and due to changes in use for the land for mobile and manufactured homes.  The bill did not receive a floor vote in the House, however, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Brian Lohse, has filed an amendment with similar protections onto another bill, SF 469, relating to mobile homes. SF 469 is currently on the unfinished business calendar and awaits potential consideration by the House Chamber. Client is unregistered/monitoring.

Thank You!

We would like to thank Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission and the Overland Property Group, for their renewals this past week!
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From the President's Desk...

My wife and I were recently talking about redoing our kitchen, and during this conversation, I noted that in order for this work to be done this year, it was going to be done by us, not a contractor. While I like to think my renovation skills rival Bob Villa (they do not), this highlighted a much bigger issue –the lack of qualified construction workers in our state. Try to get a bid for work – cannot find a contractor to work on a single-family home. However, at times, one can look around Des Moines, and it looks like Bob the Builder is having a convention. This is great, right?  
But….lumber is at an all-time high, appliances are on back-order, and labor is tough to find. At the same time, we need more homes. Did you know by 2030, Iowa will need an additional 47,000 homes to meet the demand?  Let’s think about that, that is 5,222 homes a year, for the next nine (9) years, being built!
The question is, who will build those homes? For example, the average age of an electrician in the United States is 60 years old. What are we doing to create a workforce to help build these homes? Too often in affordable housing, the most common remark is “If we only had more resources, we could build more housing.”

Money is not the only answer. Iowa needs to have a comprehensive housing plan to address this overwhelming demand. Having money is not enough to cover the needs that affordable housing requires.

The Iowa Housing Partnership was created because there was no one single group that promoted affordable housing of every kind in Iowa. The Iowa Housing Partnership was created to address all types of housing concerns and to bring together people who might be doing the same thing, but did not know it. While the problems may be many, never in my career have I seen the excitement and the interest in creating affordable housing.
Last week I spoke of celebrating our successes, but let us also embrace the challenges. That seems strange to say but without having a challenge, we would never be able celebrate beating those challenges. Affordable housing is a constant challenge. Affordable housing is not easy; affordable housing is crucial to the success of our rural areas, our suburbs and our urban areas. It is not easy, but it is very rewarding.

So, let’s put our creative efforts together and push toward a common goal of creating a robust affordable housing network to benefit our communities across Iowa. You can do this by participating in IHP’s Zoom calls and other networking events this summer and fall. If you want to participate, or can think of a housing topic that we should cover, please contact us.

As always, the Iowa Housing Partnership urges you to become a member if you have not. Things are happening and things are changing, and it is an exciting time to be a part of this movement.
—Dan Garrett