City Council to continue rental regulation dialogue, $2.6 million in federal funding available for affordable housing needs

Kara Gravert

An act signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds ended the city’s ability to enforce residential rental-caps, so the council is left to consider whether the current rental housing code is sufficient to deter rental property encroachment in historically owner-occupied neighborhoods.

The Ames City Council is set to review potential methods for the regulation of the rental housing market on Tuesday night.

According to city documents, methods the council will consider include codes that aim to reduce the intensity of rentals, limit occupancy, incentivize owner-occupied dwellings, and increase safety.

Currently, properties being converted into rental housing are the city’s primary source of affordable home ownership. However, with the council also set to confirm the city’s Five-Year Consolidated Plan, Ames may receive up to $2.6 million in federal aid for the development of single family home properties.

Results from surveys assigned by the Department of Housing and Urban Development identified the top two barriers and needs of Ames as: the supply of housing for lower income households for renting, and the cost of housing for lower income households for both renting and home buying.

In order to receive federal funding to address local community development priorities, the consolidated plan must be completed by August 15. The process for updating the plan started last December as the public was invited to participate in a workshop with city council to provide input regarding the priorities and goals of the 2019-23 Five-Year Consolidated Plan.

The council will meet at 5:30 p.m. in the council chambers. The meeting is open to the public.