Iowa prison inmates could start building “affordable housing” for the general public under a proposed state initiative.
The details are tucked inside a bigger state spending plan that won approval in an Iowa Senate committee Thursday. A new non-profit known as the “Iowa Homes Corporation” would be created and would solicit donations to help finance the program’s start.
Senator Mark Lofgren, a Republican from Muscatine, said Iowa’s rural and urban areas need more housing.
“This program really kills two birds with one stone,” Lofgren said. “It upskills our prisoners, helps them re-enter society and find a job…and it provides affordable housing for Iowans.”
Construction on the components of up to 200 new homes each year would be done inside the prisons if this proposal wins approval in the Senate and the House and gets the governor’s o.k. The new non-profit corporation would set the prices and get the checks for the manufactured homes that could be assembled outside prison walls. Only middle and low income Iowans would be eligible to buy the homes.