Home Allies, Inc. was created in August, 2021, in response to the dire shortage of affordable apartments in Ames available for single people and small families with incomes below 50 percent of Story County’s average median income (AMI) and/or life histories that made them unappealing as potential tenants to landlords.
Our first project will be two one-story buildings each holding four studio, aka efficiency, apartments at 913 & 915 Duff Avenue. It needs you to be successful.
The key principles of Home Allies’ approach:·
- At least ½ of the units will be for people with incomes 30% or below of county AMI.
- The monthly payment will include rent and utilities to aid tenants with budgeting.
- Tenants will typically pay no more than 30% of their monthly income for housing expenses.
- We follow the ‘Housing First’ philosophy, which calls for providing stable, long-term homes to people experiencing chronic or catastrophic life situations so that they then can focus on alleviating or overcoming other challenges.
- Traditional tenant screening criteria used by most landlords exclude many low-income people who are not students, so Home Allies will use a more flexible evaluation process.
- Preference will be given to residents of Story County, people who are unhoused, are 100% confined to a wheelchair (two of the units), people with service dogs, people who do not feel safe in their current living environments or people who are exiting transitional housing programs.
- Compact apartments still need to be livable long-term, so each unit is designed with a 40- to 50-square feet closet and a small patio; each building has a laundry room and the site has community garden and 100 ft. long dog exercise area.
- We will work closely with local agencies and private programs to accommodate their clients ready for long-term housing
.- Government can’t, and shouldn’t, be the only funder of housing for people with very limited resources
- Our financial plan includes taking advantage of low interest mortgage rates to obtain no more than a 50% loan to value, fixed rate mortgage.
- Our financial plan includes acquiring a combination of cash, multi-year funding commitments and lease guarantees to assure 100% of the first three years operating costs can be paid before we break ground.
- Time is of the essence. We missed the window to break ground before this year’s snow and below-zero temperatures arrived. We want to raise the money by mid-March, break ground by late March and have tenants move in before summer ends.
- Communities become stronger when many people pool resources to provide safe, secure housing for those who lack it. Our fundraising plan calls for many levels of contributions and many ways to contribute. We encourage every person, business and organization to join this effort according to their ability.
* Preference will be given to residents of Story County, people who are unhoused, are 100% confined to a wheelchair (two of the units), people with service dogs, people who do not feel safe in their current living environments or people who are exiting transitional housing programs..
Keep up-to-date on our construction of the 913 & 915 Duff Avenue Studio Apartments!
Fair Housing Statement
Home Allies, Inc. does not discriminate based on race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender orientation, mental or physical disability, or familial status (children), per 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-19, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 and the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Sec 504); the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and The ADA Amendment Act of 2008; and The Iowa Civil Rights Act of 1965, §216 Iowa Code. Also, Home Allies does not discriminate based on age and receipt of public assistance.
The 913 & 915 Duff Avenue Studio Apartments Project limits tenancy to individuals and families 1) whose individual or familial household incomes are at or below 50 percent of the current year’s area median income (AMI) for Story County, with tenancy in at least four of the eight units limited to incomes of 30 percent or below, and 2) whose past or current adverse experiences, including but not limited to, homelessness, severe chronic medical/psychological conditions, and the inability to accept an offer of employment due to the burden of local housing costs, are known to increase their risk for long-term housing instability. Preference is given to Story County residents. Maximum occupancy per apartment is two or three people, depending on apartment square footage. Tenancy is not open to students enrolled in, or individuals who plan to enroll in within 12 months, long-term post-secondary training programs or educational institutions. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis if the person’s current situation or life history includes significant, atypical barriers to achieving and maintaining stable housing.