Now making a big difference in small towns.

The Gazette, Sept. 11, 1999

From city neighborhoods to neighboring towns, MAHP helps make MidAmerica a better place to live.

By providing the means to turn neglected and abandoned houses into comfortable, lived-in homes. MAHP continues to help those interested in preserving the charm and individuality of their Cedar Rapids neighborhoods.

And in so doing. MAHP helps solve one of our city’s long-standing problems: the critical shortage of affordable housing. The fact is. our city is well below state and national standards in the availability of afford­ able home ownership and rental opportunities.

Affordable housing, not assisted housing.

Affordable housing means just that: housing costs that fall within the range of individuals and families liv­ ing on low and moderate incomes. It is not assisted, government-provided housing, or charitable housing.

Affordable housing, the kind Cedar Rapids is so desperately in need of, is housing within the means of deserving, hard-working, tax paying residents.

But Cedar Rapids isn’t the only city in eastern Iowa lacking in affordable housing. It isn’t just a big-city problem.

Small towns have big housing problems, too. Back in 1997, city officials in Central City were struggling with their own housing problems in the form of a severe housing shortage. There were simply more people who wanted homes in Central City than there were homes to buy: at least homes most people could afford. Seeking solutions, they came to MAHP.

The partnership between MAHP and Central City soon produced a workable plan and within months enthusiastic city officials were breaking ground on a new tract of homes-affordable homes for people anxious to live in Central City.

Today, similar partnerships are bringing affordable housing to other towns in eastern Iowa,

including Washington, Victor, Brooklyn and Marengo. And we are currently forming new partner­ ships with Deep River and Grinnell.

Partnerships mean progress.

Small towns benefit from their partnership with MAHP in many of the same ways Cedar Rapids does. Affordable housing relieves the pressure on severely burdened charities, reducing the need for shelters and transitional housing. Furthermore, housing development creates jobs, generating money that is spent locally. And, of course, it broadens the tax base, giving small towns extra and much-needed revenues for other things, from schools to street repairs.

Mostly though, the availability of such homes, whether in a city neighborhood or a small town, makes for a more attractive, more desirable community that preserves the worth and dignity of all its citizens.