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HousingIowa Awards Recognize Innovative Iowa Housing Initiatives and Leaders

Affordable Housing

DES MOINES – The Iowa Finance Authority recently recognized outstanding housing initiatives and leaders through the annual HousingIowa Awards.

The HousingIowa Awards recognize outstanding programs, projects and professionals for leadership and innovation in advancing housing opportunities for Iowans. The award categories include: Single-Family Development,  Multifamily Development, Innovation, Special Needs Development, COVID-19 Housing Response, Legislative Friend of Housing and the Kay Anderson Friend of Iowa Award.

HousingIowa award nominations are accepted each year and an independent panel of judges determines the statewide award winners.

Single-Family Development
Walnut Grove Neighborhood, NeighborWorks Home Solutions – Council Bluffs

The development of the Walnut Grove Subdivision is the product of a private/public partnership that transformed the site of a former elementary school into a thriving neighborhood that more than a dozen families now call home. The project was completed in partnership with Iowa Western Community College.

Multifamily Development
The River Apartments and Townhomes – Mason City

The North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation, Talon Development and the City of Mason City worked together to transform an empty parking lot in downtown Mason City into new workforce apartments. The property includes 113 moderately priced apartments and 20 townhouses and includes amenities such as underground parking, a gym, office space, common areas and a rec room and will be an asset to the Mason City community for many years to come.

Innovation Award
PATCH Program – Cedar Rapids

A group of organizations developed a program to support the needs of derecho-impacted homeowners in the area and coined it PATCH, Providing Assistance to Community Homeowners.  The program provided a seamless process for homeowners to navigate as they sought assistance for home repairs starting with a single point of entry and screening process to determine what the situation was for each homeowner. The most unique component of the program was a forgivable loan for repairs with funding needed upfront to keep projects moving, the average loan was $15,000.

Program partners: Housing Fund for Linn County, Linn County, Neighborhood Finance Corporation, Matthew 25, HACAP, Waypoint, Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity, the Cities of Cedar Rapids and Marion, United Way, East Central Iowa Council of Governments, Iowa Legal Aid, Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust, Linn County, Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, Alliant Energy, World Class Industries, Catholic Charities, McGrath Auto, Skogman Realty and others.

Special Needs Housing Development
The HEAL House – Indianola

The HEAL House of Indianola transformed an old motel to offer supportive housing and a resource center for individuals in need in the area. The facility can house as many as 12 families at a time, each with their own bedroom and bathroom. The rooms are each sponsored by different local organizations, providing necessary items.

COVID-19 Housing Response (Special for 2021)
City of Sioux City

The HousingIowa COVID-19 Housing Response award is special for 2021. It was created to recognize an initiative that was implemented in immediate response to the unique needs created as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City of Sioux City started a partnership with local hotels to temporarily house individuals in need of assistance. Staff then worked to move households from the hotel to apartments as quickly as possible. The city also created a satellite office where staff were able to meet with those in need to assess what services were needed while keeping the space comfortable, inviting and safe throughout the public health emergency.

Legislative Friend of Housing
Senator Dan Dawson, Council Bluffs

Senator Dawson is committed to being an advocate for housing, working to ensure proper support and resources to assist housing projects across the state.  Senator Dawson’s advocacy played a key role in the passage of millions of dollars in housing resources during the 2021 legislative session.

Kay Anderson Friend of Iowa Award
Stephanie Murphy, Neighborhood Finance Corporation, Des Moines and Cedar Rapids

Stephanie Murphy, Executive Director of the Neighborhood Finance Corporation was honored with the 2021 Kay Anderson Friend of Iowa Award. Under her leadership the Neighborhood Finance Corporation has grown in Polk County and has expanded to help meet housing needs in Cedar Rapids and Linn County. The Kay Anderson Friend of Iowa Award was created in honor of the late Kay Anderson, a long-time member of the Iowa Finance Authority Board of Directors and resident of Le Mars.

More information about the HousingIowa Award winners is available at