Public Sector Funders
The Polk County Housing Trust Fund is a qualified Local Housing Trust Fund defined in Iowa law. Because of this qualification it is allowed to receive and allocate tax dollars to increase the number of affordable housing units in Polk County.
The Trust Fund takes this responsibility very seriously. It is these dollars that fund inventory development and preservation.
Polk County is the founding funder of the Trust Fund. The Board of Supervisors determined that the best use of tax revenue for housing was through an independent organization managed by community volunteers familiar with housing needs. It formed and funded the Polk County Housing Trust Fund in 1995.
Today, through the use of 28E agreements, Polk County is still the Trust Fund’s largest single source of funds. The current agreement, which runs through June of 2014, provides $1,500,000.00 annually. This money is deployed to fund new and rehabilitated affordable housing units in the county. It is also used to cover the administrative costs of operating the Trust Fund. By allowing its funds to be used for overhead the County permits 100% of other funding streams to be used for direct services.
State of Iowa (State Housing Trust Fund)
The State of Iowa funds affordable housing through its allocation to the State Housing Trust Fund. For many years the SHTF was funded at varying levels depending upon the wishes of any given legislature. Recently, through the efforts of affordable housing advocates the SHTF has been funded with an annual appropriation from the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund and an increasing portion of the proceeds of the Real Estate Transfer Tax. These funds are allocated by Iowa Finance Authority to 26 local housing trust funds in Iowa. Due to the population it serves, Polk County Housing Trust Fund is the largest recipient. This fiscal year, PCHTF’s allocation is $867,333. State Law restricts the use of these funds to costs of new construction and rehabilitation of existing affordable housing units.
Managing over $2M of state and local funds each year is one of the major activities of the Trust Fund. Through its various committees the PCHTF establishes an annual Housing Allocation Plan and invites local non and for profit developers to make application. A competitive application process along with strict post award oversight guarantees that the most worthy projects receive funding and that promised results are achieved.