PCHTF Welcomes New Research Intern

Josh Hellyer

PCHTF Welcomes New Research Intern

Hello!  My name is Josh Hellyer and I have just begun working as a research intern for the Polk County Housing Trust Fund.  As a research intern, I will be investigating issues related to housing and homelessness to help guide the PCHTF’s efforts to provide affordable housing for all Polk County residents. 

In the wake of the sale of the Hotel Randolph, my first research paper will discuss the topic of single-room occupancy (SRO) housing, or residential hotels.  I will be looking at case studies from other cities that have effectively provided affordable housing for difficult-to-house populations by renovating residential hotels, stopping the conversion of these units, and/or building new SRO complexes.  In doing so, I intend to assess the benefits and drawbacks of SRO housing and discuss possible applications of the SRO for housing the chronically homeless.

I was born and raised in Coralville but currently live in Ames, having graduated from Iowa State University in May with two bachelor degrees in Community and Regional Planning and French.  In my senior year at ISU, I worked as a research assistant on a PCHTF-sponsored inventory of rental housing in Polk County with a group of professors in the CRP department.  This project instilled in me an interest in housing issues that led me to seek out further work with this organization and that I will carry into my career as a planner.  I hope that in my time here, I can provide local decision makers with the information they need to make informed decisions about housing in their communities and ultimately help the PCHTF further its vision.