In late 2014, the Story County Community Housing Corporation (SCCHC) completed construction of a 4-plex at 231-233 S. Kellogg.  The project began in Fall 2013. A duplex owned by the SCCHC was demolished to make way for the construction of this 4-plex which is just south of the Emergency Residence Project (ERP) property.  The DMACC Hunziker Career Center Story County High School Building Trades Class coordinated by Joe Brend provided construction labor valued at $90,000 to $95,0000.  Total cost for the construction of the 4-plex was estimated at $275,000, but came in at a little over $300,000.

The Story County Community Housing Corporation (SCCHC) is pleased to dedicate this project to the memory of Joyce Hertz, who was a founding member of the Story County Community Land Trust and long-time Board member of Story County Housing, from which our organization arose.  The 4-plex was designed by Benjamin Design Collaborative and consists of four two-bedroom apartment units including one unit which is 100% accessible according to American Disability Act (ADA) standards.

All units are reserved for rental to households making less than 80% of the area median income (AMI), including families from ERP in need of transitional housing.

There is a critical need for affordable housing in Ames.  In 2013 the rental housing vacancy rate in Ames averaged less than 1.5%.  A 4.0%- 4.5% vacancy rate is considered to be normal supply of rental units. The problem is exacerbated by ISU’s 25% enrollment increase between fall 2006 and fall 2015. The Fair Market Rental (FMR) rate in Story County exceeds that in adjacent rural counties by about 25%. ERP has seen the number of persons in need of housing assistance double in 10 years to over 2200 in 2012-13. The Ames School District has on staff, a full-time employee to deal with about 200 children in the district who are homeless or near homeless. Completion of the SCCHC 4-plex is one positive step toward addressing the unmet need of additional affordable rental housing in Ames.

SCCHC is a current 501(c)(3)non-profit Community Housing Development Organization. Its mission is to create and maintain affordable rental and family-owned housing in Story County. SCCHC has worked toward that mission through utilization of the Community Land Trust model for homeownership and by acquiring rental properties and leasing units to households that make less than 80% of area median income (AMI); many of the families served by SCCHC actually make less than 50% and even 30% of AMI.

The SCCHC set monthly rents for tenants below FMR rates which are determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  For example SCCHC currently rents a three bedroom apartment for $660/month. The FMR rate in Ames for a three bedroom apartment is $1,020/month. SCCHC is able to provide units to households below FMR by keeping our overhead low and through the use of grants, small loans, and contributions from our members in the community. SCCHC presently owns and rents out 13 rental units in Ames, in addition to our new 4-plex described above, we own a 6-plex at 1018 Lincolnway, and a 3-plex at 414 S. 4th.

Thanks to the many companies, religious organizations and individuals who have contributed to this project:

Alfred’s Carpet & Decorating
Ames Home Improvement
Benjamin Design Collaborative, P.C.
Bolton & Menk, Inc.
Cable Plumbing Inc.
Caruth Construction Inc.
Conley’s Trucking
Cooper & Sons Inc.
DMACC—Hunziker Center Building Trades
First National Bank
Haselhoff Air Solutions
Hastings, Gartin & Boettger, LLP
H.L. Munn Lumber Co.
Hetzler & Rhodes Concrete
Iowa Countertops
Iowa Prison Industries
Iowa State Ready-Mix
Lowe’s Home Improvement
Miller Electric
Mullenbach Construction Inc.
Viking Automatic Sprinkler Co.
St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
U.S. Bank
First United Methodist Church
The Hertz Family
In memory of Joyce Hertz