This Plan describes the housing and community development needs of the City of Cedar Rapids. It lays out a five year strategy and a one year action plan for using federal, state, local and private resources to increase affordable housing for the low and moderate income residents, establish and maintain a suitable living environment, and expand economic opportunities, particularly for low income persons.
The major activities to be funded with $1.6 million Community Development
Block Grant(CDBG) program funds include financial assistance for housing
rehabilitation and technical staff services for rehabilitation and housing code
enforcement, park and open space development and public improvements to be
installed in six neighborhoods, transitional housing support for 13 homeless
households, summer school programs, and a neighborhood community resource
With $496,000 HOME Investment Partnership Program funds the major activities are providing financial assistance for owner-occupied and rental housing rehabilitation and for Metro Area Housing Program, Inc. programs of new construction, acquisition and rehabilitation, and conversion of a warehouse into residence.
Citizen participation for preparation of this Plan involved the City's
Affordable Housing Commission for funding recommendations for the HOME program,
drawing on community- wide representation of housing and related interests.
Standing committees of the Commission explored special issues related to
finance, production, preservation, special populations (including the homeless)
and relevant ordinance provisions.
Three volunteer advisory committee levels were involved with the CDBG program budgetary process. Four committees identify citizen perceived needs and problems in each of the City's quadrants. Six predominantly low/moderate income neighborhood committees formed for project (urban renewal) areas within which to undertake eligible activities such as public improvements. The Priorities Committee, with 14 people from the quadrants and neighborhoods, annually recommends how the CDBG Program entitlement should be allocated to project areas and activities.
Public hearings were held in October, November and January for citizen comments regarding identification of housing and non-housing community development needs and the proposed preliminary document. The City Council adopted a Resolution approving the final Plan on January 11, 1995.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa is both an industrial center and an agribusiness hub,
blending the traditional and the high tech. As the second largest metropolitan
area in Iowa, Cedar Rapids is the focus for commercial, retail and distribution
activity. The economy is diversified, with over 224 different manufacturing
plants in the area employing almost 25,000 people. A wide range of businesses
includes some 20 Fortune 500 companies. It reports one of the lowest crime rates
in the nation. 1992 "Parade" magazine rated the City as one of the
best buys in the nation for housing.
The City's population was 110,243 in 1980 and went down 1.4% to 108,751 by 1990. Of the 43,490 total households identified by the 1990 Census: 96% are White (Non-Hispanic) - a reduction of 2% since 1980; 2.8% Black (Non-Hispanic) up 22% from 1980; 1.1% Hispanic (all races) up 22% since 1980. Between 1990 and 1992 population grew to a total of 111,659. Personal income rose 6.8%. Per capita income growth was 8.3%, exceeding both the state and national averages by about 1%.
25% of the City's housing was built prior to 1940 and 26% between '40 and 1959. It is estimated that 2% of owner stock and 14% of renter stock is substandard. 99% of owner- occupied and 97% of renter units are suitable for rehabilitation.
Existing safe, decent, and sanitary housing which is affordable is a scarce resource. Preservation of stock through rehabilitation improvements and minimizing demolition is essential. Existing housing needs to be preserved with maintenance and improvement where economically feasible.
Vacancy rates of 5.4% for rental and 1.1% for sale properties were reported in the 1990 Census. 2.4% of lower income rental units but only .6% of owner-occupied units were overcrowded.
The supply of existing owner and renter-occupied housing which is safe, decent, sanitary and affordable is insufficient to satisfy demand. The available stock needs to be expanded for homeowners and tenants. Many tenants are "cost burdened" by paying too high a proportion (more than 30%) of their income toward housing expenses (including utilities). Tenants need assistance. Many prospective first-time homeowners lack assets to pay initial downpayment and closing costs for purchase of a house and they need assistance to become homeowners.
Since the number of referrals of homeless people greatly exceeds the capacity of existing facilities/services to deliver assistance, it is evident that many individuals and families lack adequate resources for rental or owner tenancy on a steady, reliable, and independent basis. Thus, opportunities need to be enhanced to provide shelter and supportive services to those who are homeless (or threatened with homelessness), as well as those who are not homeless but have special needs. In addition, job opportunities need to be created or expanded to produce or increase disposable income which may be applied toward housing costs.
The Consolidated Plan does not contain discussion/data relevant to the topic of Public Housing. Cedar Rapids has no public housing authority or publicly-owned housing. No other agency or municipal jurisdiction within Linn County owns or manages any public housing. There are 2,578 assisted units available or approved. Waiting lists for elderly units range from 3 months to 1.5 years; for families the waiting lists run from one to 2.5 years. 870 certificates/vouchers are allocated to the City for subsidies for qualified renters through the Federal Section 8-Existing Housing Assistance Payments Program, or 90% of the authorized units under lease. The waiting list for tenant-based assisted housing (where the certificates go to the tenant) as of November 1994 contained 1,493 households.
The Plan identifies and discusses six "impediments" which contribute to the shortage of affordable housing which is safe, decent, and sanitary:
The "more extensive analysis of impediments to fair housing choice" undertaken by the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission is referenced by Appendix C1 & C2 Minority "concentration" (as locally defined) is generally not significant and better reflects geographical dispersion throughout the City, but there are significant exceptions for Black (Non-Hispanic) in Census Tracts 17, 19 and 27 and for Asian/Pacific Islander (Non-Hispanic) in Census tract 20.
The 1990 Census identified 30,839 housing units with lead based paint, or 68% of the total in the City. The Linn County Department of Health principally conducts blood screening to identify people with elevated lead. During the first year of its Lead Poisoning Prevention program ending June 30, 1993, the County screened 1,668 children six years or younger and found 10.9% had elevated blood lead. The County conducted 19 environmental investigations on properties where children with elevated blood levels reside. Of the 19 investigations, 10 remain open, 5 cases have been closed, and 4 were found to have no immediate lead hazards. Where children under 7 years of age are present, the County inspects all comprehensive rehabilitation projects which receive Federal and State financial assistance from the City. Measures are included with rehabilitation work to abate identified hazards. The County Health Department also conducts inspections in response to public requests. During its second year (ending June 30, 1994) 1,840 children were screened and 5.5% had elevated blood lead levels (versus 7% statewide). 73 environmental investigations were conducted on children with elevated blood levels; 63 within the City of which 5 were for the Housing Rehabilitation Program. A door to door screening targeted the six community development block grant areas, and Oak Hill area has been completed, with a total of 32 children screened and ten found with elevated blood level.
Reliance is placed on the City's Capital Improvement Program for identifying non-housing community development needs, as supplemented by other inventories.
As lead agency designated to prepare the Consolidated Plan, the Department
of Planning and Redevelopment will principally have oversight responsibility for
coordination efforts directed toward the realization of the strategy for those
projects and activities funded through the City as part of CDBG and HOME.
Indirectly, with appropriate support, the City coordinates with other entity
proposals which require local "certification of consistency" for
competitive funding consideration ( Emergency Shelter Grant, Housing
Opportunities for Persons with AIDS). The provision of staff services, as
applicable, for working with respective committees, commissions, and boards is
described above in "Citizens Participation," and with other
appropriate agencies and organizations which may be for- profit or non-profit.
Five year objectives include:
For the community as a whole, non-housing community development objectives
and projects are identified as proposed activities to be undertaken through the
City's Capital Improvement Program (CIP), incorporated by reference into the
Consolidated Plan. Activities eligible with CDBG and HOME program funds are to
be determined on an annual basis as specific appropriation amounts are awarded
and reviewed or recommended through the citizen participation process. As
related to City's "1880" Community Development Inventory of Existing
Conditions and Needs" it is anticipated non-housing community development
activities will principally be funded for public improvements within targeted
neighborhood project areas, but may include public facilities and services as
requested by other entities such as non-profit agencies and organizations. For
economic development, the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce has been
identified for preparation of a strategic plan for activity to be undertaken by
The One-Year Action Plan below identifies park and open space development and public improvements for six neighborhoods.
Most of the direct financial assistance programs carry a requirement to make
some portion of the new jobs being created available to low and moderate income
persons, normally qualified by PROMISE JOBS, JTPA or defined by the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development. A few of the service-type programs
are geared toward assisting AFDC individuals start businesses by increasing
skill levels in business planning and management. Some of these fail the
individual by not teaching proper business etiquette and presentation of
themselves and their business concepts.
The Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce has functioned as the lead agency in economic development activities in the region. Priority One has goals related to the number of jobs created, capital investment made in the community, the number of new businesses recruited and the number of existing businesses assisted. However, several other entities, both public and private, are part of an extensive team effort to successfully implement the efforts. Each lends its particular expertise to get the job completed. Priority One monitors its performance through a board of directors representing the other team player and the entities that contribute financially toward the economic development program. An annual report is prepared and presented to the contributors each August. Priority One is currently in the process of determining goals and objectives for the period 1996-2000. These goals will be expressed with numbers for the following type activities:
creating new jobs, locating new businesses in the area, assisting existing businesses in expansion, training and support., and continuing to work with area industries to monitor available labor pool and specific workforce needs including efforts to attract new labor as necessary.
Major Federal support comes as $1.6 million Community Development Block Grant program entitlement and $496,000 HOME Investment partnership Program funds. Other HUD programs utilized include Section 8 certificates and vouchers, and applications by other entities for HOPE 2 (home ownership of multifamily units) and HOPE 3 (single family homeownership) planning and implementation grants. For the homeless there are Emergency Shelter supportive housing, Housing for Persons with Aids, Safe Havens and Rural Homeless Housing. For elderly there are HUD Section 202, Sec 811 for handicapped, moderate rehabilitation single room occupancy. Low income housing tax credits are to continue in use. Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). United Way of Central Iowa, HACAP, and Family Service Agency were recipients of a Northwest Area Foundation Grant for a Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Program.
Local consultation is an on-going process, which involves many entities,
particularly the local FEMA Board/Homeless Coordinating Agency through the Linn
County Department of Human Resources Management.
|Using CDBG program funds:|
|Financial assistance for housing rehabilitation 46 units||$686,000|
|Technical staff services for housing rehabilitation||285,000|
|Technical staff services for housing code enforcement||140,000|
|Park and open space development, Wellington Hts Ngbd||50,000|
|Public improvements for six neighborhoods||186,000|
|24 months transitional housing for 13 homeless households||54,000|
|Summer school programs in Polk and Johnson schools||12,500|
|Window replacement for McAuley Center for Women||25,000|
|Recreation support for NW Neighborhood Association||10,000|
|Facility rehabilitation in 7 units of Catholic Worker House||4,000|
|Administrative support for Metro Area Housing Program||74,000|
|Neighborhood community resource center at Taylor School||10,000|
|Using HOME program funds:|
|Financial assistance for owner-occupied housing rehab||39,000|
|Rental property rehabilitation||69,700|
|First-time homebuyer downpayment, etc. assistance||60,000|
|Metro Area Housing "OSADA" project (warehouse into residence)||120,000|
|Metro Area Housing acquisition and rehabilitation of 15 units||50,000|
|Metro Area Housing new rental construction of 16 units||75,000|
|Metro Area Housing administrative support||36,600|
The lead agency is the Department of Planning and Redevelopment which has oversight responsibility for coordinating directly for CDBG and HOME programs. See Citizen Participation for others applying for Emergency Shelter grants and HOPWA funds.
MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.
MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.
MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.
MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).
Don B. Salyer
Director, Department of Planning and Redevelopment
City of Cedar Rapids
PH: (319) 398-5041