NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodCouncil Bluffs

Actions

Council Bluffs Hillside Estates is affordable, mixed-income neighborhood amid housing shortage

Iowa West Foundation CEO says 'mixed-income' is key to success
Posted at 1:40 PM, Jun 06, 2024

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (KMTV) — Mixed-income neighborhood in Council Bluffs, Hillside Estates, includes market-rate houses and grant-funded homes to bring more affordable housing to the metro area. NeighborWorks Solutions led the project.

  • "If a community has less than 8% of available housing, that's when people get forced into homelessness,” said Mayor Matt Walsh. “We've got around 1% rental vacancy and around 1% single-family ownership vacancy."
  • "It's really important that we don't create pockets of types of housing where, you know, 'THAT neighborhood is where THOSE people live and this neighborhood is where this kind of people live,'" Iowa West CEO Brenda Mainwaring said.
  • NeighborWorks Solutions in the metro area focuses on single-family homes in Sarpy, Douglas and Pottawattamie Counties. The organization works to combine federal dollars with private and nonprofit partners, to help families own homes and build generational wealth.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

The lack of affordable housing is a huge problem across the United States. I'm your southwest Iowa neighborhood reporter Katrina Markel and I'm at Hillsides Estates in Council Bluffs which aims to be part of the solution.

"With the seal of the City of Council Bluffs, I do hereby proclaim..."

Mayor Matt Walsh proclaimed a week in honor of NeighborWorks, a national organization, funded by Congress, that creates affordable housing opportunities. The city is using grant money to assist owners with down payments.

"If a community has less than 8% of available housing, that's when people get forced into homelessness,” said Walsh. “We've got around 1% rental vacancy and around 1% single-family ownership vacancy."

This neighborhood is a collaboration between NeighborWorks and several other organizations. It's mixed-income, meaning some homes were built and sold at market rates and others, built by NeighborWorks and Habitat for Humanity, were sold below the market rate — about $170,000.

Iowa West CEO Brenda Mainwaring says the mixed-income neighborhood is key.

"It's really important that we don't create pockets of types of housing where, you know, 'THAT neighborhood is where THOSE people live and this neighborhood is where this kind of people live,'" Mainwaring said.

"The shortage is really at a level where we consider it just really a crisis at this time," said Andre Butler, an executive with NeighborWorks America, Midwest region.

Butler is with the regional office in Kansas City and says Hillside Estates is a good example of public-private partnerships.

Local NeighborWorks CEO David Hazelwood points out about half of the homes in this neighborhood are for low-to-moderate-income families.

"We know that the largest transfer of wealth is still home ownership. So that's why we focus on homeownership and new construction," he said.

NeighborWorks Solutions in the metro area focuses on single-family homes in Sarpy, Douglas and Pottawattamie Counties. The organization works to combine federal dollars with private and nonprofit partners, to help families own homes and build generational wealth.