Greater Burlington Partnership
West Burlington
West Burlington, Iowa

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Housing Needs Study

Download: Study Finds Workforce Housing Needed

A 2016 study by Gruen Gruen + Associates has concluded the Greater Burlington area (Des Moines County) will need to add 1,500 net new housing units between now and 2025 to keep up with demand for new housing to support the region’s growing economy. 

The study, which was managed by the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission and jointly funded by the cities of Burlington and West Burlington, Des Moines County, Alliant Energy and the Greater Burlington Partnership, was initiated to determine the county’s future housing needs, identify the market for affordable workforce housing, and determine whether the county is likely to meet the State’s criteria to qualify for the Workforce Housing Tax Credit program.

The study found that for new housing to satisfy market demands for workforce housing, 77% of for sale housing will need to be priced below $260,000 and nearly 60 percent of rental units will require monthly rents below $1,000.  However, the study’s analysis further concluded that without targeted financial incentives, use of planned unit development ordinances, and pursuit of larger scale development, it will be difficult for new workforce housing to be created at these price points.

Key Report Findings

  • Des Moines County needs 1500 net new housing units by 2025 to keep up with demand for housing
  • 77% of new for sale housing should be priced under $260,000 to meet the housing needs projected for the county
  • Nearly 60% of new rental units will need to be under $1,000 per month in rent in order to match the housing needs projected for the county
  • Des Moines County should apply for “distressed community” status from the Iowa Economic Development Authority to allow local developments to potential use the state’s Workforce Housing Tax Credit program on new construction
  • Without financial incentives and larger scale development, it will be difficult to create the workforce housing needed to support the county’s growth
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