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What is the QC Housing Cluster’s Silos to Solutions Affordable Housing Vision?

In 2020, the QC Housing Cluster, in collaboration with the Housing Council, created a local 10-year vision to address the growing housing crisis in the Quad Cities.

 

This vision was created through community collaboration, facilitated by the Quad Cities Housing Cluster. After nearly a year of research, community engagement, feedback in multiple formats, and input from many sectors, the Quad Cities Housing Cluster has produced this initial phase vision to address the affordable. housing needs of the Quad Cities and invites community members to become stakeholders in the implementation of a plan to fulfill it.

The data reviewed for the study led the committee to first focus on the needs of individuals and families considered to be extremely low-income. The concepts in the Silos to Solutions vision are part of an initial phase that will lead to future efforts that cross the spectrum of affordable housing for all income groups.

 

The committee believes that work done on behalf of extremely low-income households will work to close existing housing gaps for very low- and low-income households; both of which will be addressed in subsequent efforts.

Silos to Solutions Vision by 2030

  1. Production – Address the gap of 6,645 affordable units for households identified as Extremely Low Income, through a combination of new constructions, rehabilitation of existing properties no longer on the market or fit for habitation, and bringing affordability through rental subsidies.

  2. Preservation – Maintain, improve and/or rehabilitate 95% of existing affordable units to ensure availability and quality.

  3. Protection – Reduce eviction rates through coordinated efforts to provide tenant education and advocacy, minimize unsafe living conditions, distribute homeless prevention funds and resolve landlord-tenant disputes through mediation.

  4. Provision – Provide services that help individuals and families maintain housing stability.

  5. Payment – Increase our Local Housing Trust Fund to provide $1,000,000 annually, available to both the Illinois and Iowa Quad Cities.

  6. Partnership – Engage community partnerships, program participants, and citizens to foster dialogue and generate action on affordable housing.

 

The Silos to Solutions Strategies Outlined

VISION FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN THE QUAD CITIES

With a loss of affordable housing in our region (30.5% since 2010), coupled with the fact that most households that live with extremely low incomes are cost-burdened in what’s available (76.1%), the crisis our community is facing needs immediate action to prevent a downward spiral. In order to go from our past silos to these current solutions, we envision the following outcomes for Quad Cities by 2030.

STRATEGIES FOR SOLUTIONS

1. Production – Address the gap of 6,645 affordable units for households identified as Extremely Low Income, through new constructions, rehabilitation of existing properties no longer on the market or fit for habitation, and bringing affordability through rental subsidies.

  • Promote diverse types of housing to improve housing choice, including but not limited to: Tiny homes, multi-family units, Community Land Trusts, Intergenerational housing, Single-Room Occupancy Units, and more.

  • Maximize zoning practices to encourage diverse housing types.

  • Promote strategic placement of affordable housing.  Distributing affordable housing throughout the Quad Cities in a variety of neighborhoods that provides access to strong public schools and proximity to jobs, services, and public transportation.

  • Policy Recommendation – Require all new multi-family developments to include a minimum of 33% of units to be considered affordable for extremely low income households at 30% Area Median Income and below.

  • Policy Recommendation – As an alternative to item 1d, developers may opt to participate in a Community Benefit Agreement, or a contract between community groups and developers that requires the developer provide specific amenities and/or mitigations to the local community or neighborhood.  In exchange, the community groups agree to support the project.

  • Policy Recommendation – Reduce barriers to affordable housing development, including expediting the review process, waiving non-essential fees, and other cost-saving measures.

  • Tracking Progress – National Low Income Housing Coalition GAP report; local provider data

2. Preservation – Maintain, improve and/or rehabilitate 95% of existing affordable units to ensure availability and quality.

  • Engage QC Lead Free in identifying funding to pursue lead abatement of priority units.

  • Connect property owners to home repair resources that are both educational and financial in nature.

  • Continue and expand use of Local Housing Trust Fund to support maintenance of existing affordable rental units.

  • Policy Recommendation – Implement ordinances that would make it easier and more cost effective to rehabilitate abandoned properties.

  • Tracking Progress – Bi-State Regional Commission; American Community Survey

3. Protection – Reduce eviction rates through coordinated efforts to provide tenant education and advocacy, minimize unsafe living conditions, distribute homeless prevention funds and resolve landlord-tenant disputes through mediation.

  • Create a Community Alliance of Tenants that provides education and resources to local tenants, including a website and/or call center, educational resources, and legal rights of tenants.

  • QC Housing Cluster – Develop and implement process for soliciting and distributing homeless prevention funds to service organizations to prevent evictions, including rental assistance and utility payments.

  • Coordinate with existing resources, including Care Link and Supplemental Emergency Assistance Program funds to leverage resources for eviction prevention.

  • Policy Recommendation – Strengthen Rental Certificate Ordinance similar to the City of Des Moines, IA, for holding landlords accountable to code enforcements.

  • Policy Recommendation – Implement proactive inspections that prevent unsafe living conditions from arising, by providing financial incentives to landlords.

  • Policy Recommendation – Provide tenants first opportunity to purchase home they are renting if it is being sold, similar to Boston’s Right of First Refusal, Washington DC’s Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, and Polk County’s Strategy.

  • Policy Recommendation – Enact landlord tenant mediation programs to resolve disputes before escalating to eviction.

  • Tracking Progress – Eviction filings; Eviction Lab

4. Provision – Provide services that help individuals and families maintain housing stability.

  • QC Housing Cluster will support the ongoing service provisions that help households maintain housing stability, including Coordinated Entry, QC Open Network, Permanent Supportive Housing, and Rapid Rehousing.

  • QC Housing Cluster will lead the development of new service opportunities, including Moving On and Rental Assistance for Families Transitioning, which address housing instability.

  • Support the expansion of funding for these services, including new mechanisms, such as Pay For Success.

  • Tracking Progress – Coordinated Entry

5. Payment – Increase our Local Housing Trust Fund to provide $1,000,000 annually, available to both the Illinois and Iowa Quad Cities.

  • QC Housing Cluster will solicit new funding and align existing housing funds to distribute towards projects that meet these identified outcomes in both Illinois and Iowa communities.

  • QC Housing Cluster will provide consultation to funders on how best to direct or align their dollars if affordable housing or its related services are a priority for them.

  • Identify and seek funding through regional, national, and federal funding opportunities and the local resources to leverage them.

  • Policy Recommendation – Cities will make CDBG and HOME funding available to support QC Housing Cluster Trust Fund projects.

  • Policy Recommendation – Counties will allocate funds either through fees or general fund commitments to the QC Housing Cluster Trust Fund.

  • Tracking Progress – Fundraising efforts; aligned funding

6. Partnership – Engage community partnerships, program participants, and citizens to foster dialogue and generate action on affordable housing.

  • Engage existing community partnerships, program participants, and citizens through marketing strategies and educational campaign.

  • Foster dialogue among above entities, and promote personal investment in neighborhoods and communities.

  • Create opportunities to empower and inform populations impacted by the affordable housing crisis.

  • Explore Employer Assisted Housing opportunities to expand access to affordable housing.

  • Tracking Progress – Output of events and participants

 

What is Affordable Housing?

Affordable Housing: Affordable housing is generally defined as housing on which the occupant is paying no more than 30 percent of gross income for housing costs, including utilities.

 

Reference:

www.hud.gov. (US Dept of Housing and Urban Development)

https://archives.hud.gov/local/nv/goodstories/2006-04-06glos.cfm#:~:text=Affordable%20Housing%3A%20Affordable%20housing%20is,Reference%3A%20www.hud.gov

 

https://www.huduser.gov/portal/pdredge/pdr-edge-featd-article-081417.html 

 

What is the National Trust Fund?

The national Housing Trust Fund (HTF) is the first new federal housing resource in a generation, and it is exclusively targeted to help build, preserve, rehabilitate, and operate housing affordable to people with the lowest incomes. In 2016, the first $174 million in HTF dollars were allocated to states. This is an important first step, but far more resources are necessary to meet the need. NLIHC is committed to working with Congress and the administration to expand the HTF in order to serve more families with the greatest need.

https://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/HTF_Factsheet.pdf

What is Homelessness?

(1) Individual or family who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, meaning: (i) Has a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not meant for human habitation; (ii) Is living in a publicly or privately operated shelter designated to provide temporary living arrangements (including congregate shelters, transitional housing, and hotels and motels paid for by charitable organizations or by federal, state and local government programs); or (iii) Is exiting an institution where (s)he has resided for 90 days or less and who resided in an emergency shelter or place not meant for human habitation immediately before entering that institution

 
 

What is Section 8 Housing?

Many Section 8 contracts have expired or will expire soon, and the property owners must now decide whether to renew their contract or leave the program ("opt out"). Most of these contracts are now renewed on a one-year basis. Projects with high risk of opting out typically have rents set by the Section 8 contract below the prevailing market rents for comparable units. Owners thus have an incentive to leave the program and convert their property to private market rentals.

Reference: www.huduser.org/rbc/categories.html Section 8 Vouchers: This federal program is administered by the local housing authority. Eligible tenants receive vouchers they can use to help them pay for apartments in the private market.

Reference: www.huduser.org/rbc/categories.html