‘We’re not going to meet the affordable housing need for Johnson County’

For every 100 extremely low-income renter households (ELI), there are 11 affordable and available rental units in Johnson County, according to the Urban Institute. In Linn County, there are 38 affordable and available rental units for every 100 extremely-low income renter households. These statistics are according to the institute. On both ends of the Corridor, the demand for affordable housing continues to grow. Affordable housing is defined as housing in which the occupant is paying no more than thirty percent of his or her income for gross housing costs, including utilities. In Iowa City, there are 400 applicants waiting for affordable housing that meet the city’s primary preference category, said Steven Rackis, housing administrator for the city of Iowa City. These are elderly households, defined as a household whose head is 62 years or older; a disabled household whose head, spouse or sole member is a person with disabilities and families with children under the age of 18. Including these primary preference families, there are a total of 7,000 applicants on the waiting list. The voucher program alone will not meet the need of the city’s residents. There are a limited number of vouchers and a limited amount of money, Rackis said. Housing units are usually 98 to 100 percent utilized, he said. “Even if I had $10 million and $6 million would cover our 100 percent utilization, we can’t issue any more vouchers because HUD (Housing and Urban Development) had capped the amount of vouchers that we have,” Rackis said. “We’re not going to meet the affordable housing need for Johnson County because the need is just too…