House bill could end housing restrictions

Eric Wirth

An Ames ordinance limiting occupancy in rental housing may be in its last days.

The Iowa House of Representatives voted 73-23 Tuesday to pass a bill that would take away a city’s ability to restrict the number of unrelated people allowed to live in one rental property. The current Ames rental code states that only three unrelated people may live together in one rental unit in a residential low density zone.

The House bill, which was introduced by Rep. Chip Baltimore, R-Boone. Representatives Lisa Heddens, DAmes, and Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, D-Ames, voted against the bill, while Rep. Dave Deyoe, R-Nevada, and Rep. Rob Bacon, R-Slater, supported the bill.

The Senate’s State Government Committee passed its version of the bill to the Senate floor Thursday. The Senate version of the bill would call for Ames and other cities with comparable ordinances to begin granting exemptions to current occupancy restrictions for properties that can house more people.