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DSM USA Policy HQ - Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing

May 17, 2021


The DSM USA Policy HQeadquarters podcast is a monthly conversation between experts on public policy topics impacting business and the relationship between government and the private sector. 

The podcast highlights a few government-funded housing programs in DSM, including the HOME program and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC) and the effort to affordably house Iowans. Guests included returning guest Kris Saddoris, vice president of Hubbell Realty Company, and new guests, Ashley Aust, general counsel at Hubbell Realty Company, and Brian Sullivan, chief programs officer at the Iowa Finance Authority

According to the 2018 Workforce Housing Study commissioned by Capital Crossroads and other partner organizations, $58,000 households in the DSM MSA were considered cost burden, meaning they spent more than 30% of their income on housing. Fourteen-thousand rental households spent more than 50% on rent and utilities, defining those as severely cost-burdened. A shortage of housing for households at any income level may affect businesses expanding in the market, as well as attracting new businesses. 

Housing Programs


HOME Program  


Administered by the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) and funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the HOME program assists communities with affordable housing initiatives like homebuyer and rental assistance. Sullivan says the HOME program uses home financing to subsidize or develop an entire project or as gap financing for rental assistance. Financing can be used for home ownership as well, developing homes that are later sold.  

Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program


The federal lLow-iIncome Housing Tax Credit program is an incentive for property owners to invest in rental housing for individuals and families with fixed or limited incomes. The tax credit provides a dollar-for-dollar reduction to offset the owner’s federal tax liability for a 10-year period in order to create housing developments that can attract young professionals, working families and those unable to maintain a house, but who want to live independently.  

Saddoris says Hubbell has used both programs, the Housing Tax Credit program most often, successfully. She would love to see it expanded so that out-of-state investment will come in and support housing in the DSM community. Aust says the Housing Tax Credit program is one of the strongest public-private partnerships to come out of the federal government. She says there’s a ripple effect when you take on a low-income housing project and create value for that area. Saddoris says that’s a 3-to-1 investment.  

Rural Communities


Aust discusses a lack of housing for professionals in rural Iowa. Sullivan says when you don’t have housing stock in the rural areas wanting to bring business in, there’s no investment that can occur there. Housing has to be strategized alongside business recruitment. Saddoris explains that off-dealearly conversations between housing and economic development professionals can help to create success. 

Sullivan shares an array of programs that help with funding housing projects to supportfor economic development, including: 

  • Various Home Loan Funds 

  • National Housing Trust Fund 

  • State Housing Trust Fund 

  • Rural Lot Purchase Program 

  • Pilot Programs 

For economic development, programs include the Main Street Loan program and the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The CDBG program housing rehabilitation projects include rehabilitation, homebuyer assistance and upper story housing conversion.   

Find out more about living in DSM and housing options here

Listen to the entire podcast above. 

The DSM USA Policy HQeadquarters podcast focuses on public policy topics impacting business and the relationship between government and the private sector. Join us each month to hear from local Greater Des Moines (DSM) experts. To listen to more Partnership podcasts, click here


The DSM USA Policy HQ podcast focuses on public policy topics impacting business and the relationship between government and the private sector.