Story County Community Housing Corporation (SCCHC) – A Community Land Trust – is a county-wide, community-based, non-profit corporation working to create and maintain affordable rental and family-owned housing. If you would like more information about the SCCHC, or if you would like to learn how you can support our work, please call (515) 292-3676. Ideas are also offered here and throughout our website.
Our 2015 Annual Membership meeting was held June 15 and we discussed a potential project on Sixth Street across from the Ames Police Department. Ten units of affordable rental housing could be constructed on this site. The board and those present were supportive of moving ahead with the submission of a proposal to the City. A decision by the city should be made by July 31, 2015. Many thanks to John Lott and Natalie Carran of Benjamin Design Collaborative for their enormous generosity in drafting this proposal for SCCHC. More info can be found on the 2015 Project page.
At our 2014 Annual meeting, discussion centered on the completion of the project at the corner of S. 3rd and S. Kellogg. The 4-plex was completed in late 2014 and all apartments are rented ! The Building Trades Classes from DMACC and Hunziker Academy were instrumental in this build, and were able to do much finishing work to bring the project to completion.
Chuck Abbott, building supervisor for our organization as well as Habitat, oversaw the build. Alan Christy, long-time Ames developer, provided his advice and assistance, as well. We began this project in Fall of 2013. A webpage with pictures on the construction are here. Some schematics on the plan are here and a model is here but take a drive by the S. 3rd and S. Kellogg location for an “in-person” view !
Funding for the project included grants, proceeds from the sale of the house at 1120 Curtiss, churches and individual donations. Our thanks to those who donated so generously to this special project which will include an apartment for wheelchair bound individuals.
Why work for affordable housing ?
In a recent City report, affordable housing needs were assessed for Ames. Nearly 50% of the households in Ames pay about 50% of their incomes for their housing. This housing burden causes families to live with the constant stress of making ends meet to cover rent and living expenses. Families need help when any extra, but normal, expense occurs. The cost of a car repair or dental appointment can be a major expense which they cannot afford.
When a family doesn’t have enough to cover such expenses, emergency help through churches and the Emergency Residence Project can help keep these families from losing their housing, but a more permanent solution is needed. That is why the SCCHC continues to work to create affordable housing.
In 1992, a housing needs assessment identified the need for 2,000 units of affordable housing. Habitat and SCCHC have built homes or apartments for about 50 families since that time. The current city report shows that the need for affordable housing remains at critical levels. In early 2014, discussion by the city took place on how to spend the Community Development Block Grant funds. Please read their report and comment on it. Your voice is needed to make sure these funds help build more affordable housing for working families in Ames and Story County.
As a community-based organization, we want and need your support and input. Our SCCHC meetings take place at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of each month in the Collegiate United Methodist Annex, Room 202 at 130 S. Sheldon, Ames. Please feel free to attend.
If you’d like to become a member, there is a form located here. Thank you for supporting community-based, affordable housing initiatives in Ames and Story County.