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Nonprofits Try to Make Affordable Housing More Available

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Hoping to keep the shortage of affordable housing from getting even worse, three local non-profits hope to buy some public housing from the city of Davenport.

Habitat for Humanity, Vera French Housing, and the Ecumenical Housing Development Group hope soon to take ownership of 20 properties.

The properties have 42 units including single family homes, duplexes, and six-plexes.

Habitat Executive Director Kristi Crafton says federal officials have been urging Davenport and other local governments to quit being landlords.

"Instead of selling these properties we have agencies in town quite capable of maintaining these units as affordable housing. That's what we do. So it really makes sense to convey those properties to us and let them become part of a our programs."

She says the housing crisis is getting worse as the cost of rent, a mortgage, and insurance all increase.

"So what that means for families is they go into an un-affordable situation where they're spending 70 or 80 per cent of their income on housing. If they do that they truly cannot afford the other basics of life."

Crafton estimates two of every three families who need affordable housing cannot find it.

Once the Davenport City Council approves selling these public housing properties, the sales won't become final until the US Department of Housing and Urban Development also approves.