An Iowa City-based think tank is giving its approval to most of the recommendations in the recent report from the Rebuild Iowa Commission. Officials with the Iowa Fiscal Partnership say the report is a good starting place for policymakers, but say the program misses the mark by proposing that projects in flood plain areas be eligible for the state’s enterprise zone program.
I-F-P research associate Christine Ralson says the housing enterprise zone program fails to target those most in need. Ralson says the housing part does not have income or rent limits, so she says it would give tax credits to anyone who meets the criteria in an enterprise zone and would not ensure that we have new affordable housing.
Ralson says a better alternative for affordable housing would be the creation of a disaster housing tax credit program. She says the tax credit program would be specifically targeted at creating affordable housing and be income limited and have rent restrictions. Ralson says the credit would also have other restrictions to ensure it was used properly.
Ralson says it would have to be a temporary credit for a set number of years in exchange for a specific number of years for compliance. Ralson, who is one of the authors of the I-F-P report, says the report also calls for greater use of manufactured homes and an easing of restrictions on campers and trailers to help flooding victims as winter approaches.