Providing affordable housing is a challenge many growing communities across the country are facing, and it’s a top priority for the Iowa City City Council. 

The Council’s Strategic Plan aims to identify new efforts to expand our housing efforts throughout Iowa City. In 2016 the City adopted an Affordable Housing Action Plan that identified 15 action steps to support affordable housing. With almost all steps completed, the Council requested an update to the 2016 plan. On June 6, 2022 staff presented the 2022 Affordable Housing Action Plan. Staff will be presenting a 5-year implementation plan based on the actions identified in the coming weeks.  

2022 Affordable Housing Action Plan








Housing Action Plan Updates

501 Project – The 2nd Housing First Project of Shelter House 

In June 2016, City Council approved code amendments to allow a new Housing First approach to help house those experiencing homelessness in Iowa City. The effort targets chronically homeless individuals who are frequent users of high-cost services such as correction systems, emergency rooms, mental health and substance abuse services and provides a permanent home. The Housing First approach does not place conditions of housing on the behavior of participants, but instead provides subsidized housing with the ongoing option to participate in supportive services.  

The first project, Cross Park Place, developed and operated by Shelter House, opened in January of 2019.  This project houses 24 one-bedroom apartments with on-site offices and an exam room for case managers and partnering health and behavioral health clinicians.  This June Shelter House will open the 2nd Housing First project in Iowa City – the 501 Project.  Their newest development offers 36 one-bedroom apartments for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness.  It offers on-site case management as was as exam rooms for partnering physical and behavioral health practitioners.  As with Cross Park Place, project-based vouchers from the Iowa City Housing Authority will support this development. 

The 501 Project starts leasing in June 2022.


Watch a brief video summary of the affordable housing situation in Iowa City and the steps being taken to address it.