Outlook for Affordable Housing in the 2013 Iowa Legislature
Tom Cope helps the Housing Trust Fund Board understand the work ahead
On January 4th Tom Cope, lobbyist for the Local Housing Trust Fund Network spoke to the PCHTF Board about funding challenges and opportunities in the upcoming legislative session. The 2012 elections did little to change the legislative dynamic of the past 2 years. With Governor Branstad in the middle of his term, Cope foresees more of the same.
For the past 2 sessions monies that fund Local Housing Trust Funds have not been included in the Governor’s budget. There is no reason to expect a change in that reality for 2013. In response, Senate leaders have restored 100% funding in their suggested budget. For the past two years negotiation between the House and Senate has resulted in funding of approximately $6M to be distributed amongst 25 local housing trust funds. PCHTF’s allocation has been $550,000.00.
The Local Housing Trust Fund Network’s strategy will be similar to past years. Key legislators from both chambers will be looked to for leadership. Affordable Housing is a bi-partisan issue that positively impacts many agendas; economic development, education, workforce development and social services. Making the case for safe, stable and affordable housing for Iowa’s residents is the responsibility of the volunteer leadership of all local housing trust funds in the state.