The Story County Community Housing Corporation (SCCHC) is pleased to announce that we have submitted a proposal to build more affordable rental housing on 3 lots across from the Ames Police Station on Sixth Street.  The City used $150,000 of federal, Community Development Block Grant, money to purchase and demolish the Ames Community Preschool Center and it is ready for development.  Ten units of affordable rental housing could be built at this site.  Our proposal is to build a 9-plex.  One unit will be handicapped accessible.  Proposals were due to the City by June 30th.

John Lott and Natalie Carran of Benjamin Design Collaborative put together the proposal for us … thank you !  Many specifics on the nine-plex are included in the proposal here: RFP-SixthStreet-9Plex.

We discussed the project at the Board’s 2015 annual membership meeting on June 15 at 7 p.m. in Room 202 of the Collegiate United Methodist Annex at 130 S. Sheldon, Ames.

The Story County Community Housing Corporation (SCCHC) has the capacity and community support to be the non-profit housing developer for this 9-unit apartment complex.  SCCHC’s membership recognizes our capacity as a housing developer, and has generously supported past projects.  As a community-based organization, this project will allow us to employ the experience, knowledge and established relationships of our membership and involve a wide range of individuals, businesses and organizations.  It will be a community-based build which will build community.

Since 1968, past and present members of our SCCHC board have addressed housing needs for low-income Ames and Story County citizens with community support.  Earl Hammond, the Vice President of Story County Housing, Inc. (SCHI), one of our parent organizations, was instrumental in bringing two housing units for the low-income elderly or disabled to Ames, in the early ‘80’s  – Keystone, which has 56 units and Stonehaven which has 54.

A current member of the SCCHC board, Chuck Abbott, has been the building manager for Story County Habitat for Humanity for the past 20 years.  Dale Vander Schaaf, who helped create a Habitat for Humanity chapter in Story County and who helped form Food at First, is the SCCHC board president.  Chuck and Dale and other members of the board have relationships with builders, suppliers, bankers, churches, and other non-profits which create the capacity for the success this project.

Over several decades, hundreds of citizens have contributed their time and treasure to our organizations because of their commitment to create affordable rental and home-ownership opportunities for low-income families in Ames.  SCCHC and our parent organizations have not disappointed:  In 2001, 3 homes were constructed at Hoover and 24th, in 2004, a 3-plex was built at 414 S. 4th; in 2007, we purchased and renovated a six-plex apartment complex at 1018 Lincolnway with a $217,000 grant from the Iowa Department of Economic Development; in 2010, a single family home was built at 620-12th Street, and in 2014, a 4-plex was completed at 231 S. Kellogg.

Throughout our work as a housing developer, we have worked closely with the DMACC Building Trades/Hunziker Academy classes.  They have been instrumental in all of our builds, resulting in significant cost savings for each.  As a result of such efforts to leverage public and private funds and in-kind contributions, the SCCHC is able to rent our current stock of 13 apartments for about 65% of the fair market rent.  In the recent past, our rents have ranged from $325 to $615 per month.  Each year, our tenants save $40,360 in rent payments.

Because of the desire of our organization’s membership to address the great need for more affordable housing, we have received generous, on-going support for annual operating costs and special building projects.  SCCHC and our parent organizations have been able to provide housing to hundreds of low-income families and individuals as a result–all of whom have incomes at or less than 80% of County median income ––some at less than 60%.

We hope the city will grant our proposal to build this 9-plex apartment complex on the Sixth Street property in Ames.  Because of our membership support and involvement, SCCHC has the capacity, experience and community capital to move this affordable housing project for low-income families and individuals to a successful completion.