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Nonprofits Try to Make Affordable Housing More Available

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.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois. While a graduate student in the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield (then known as Sangamon State University), he got his first taste of public radio, covering Illinois state government for WUIS. Here in the Quad Cities, Herb worked for WHBF Radio before coming to WVIK in 1987. Herb also produces the weekly public affairs feature Midwest Week – covering the news behind the news by interviewing reporters about the stories they cover.