affordable housing

newton prison painting
Katarina Sostaric / IPR

Inmates at the state prison in Newton are expected to finish building the first two houses in a new construction program by the end of the year, while a new website has launched to display their work.

The Homes For Iowa program that started earlier this year is aimed at filling Iowa’s workforce and affordable housing shortages, while giving inmates skills that may help them get a job when they leave prison.

Eric Garcetti / Flickr

Providing permanent, stable housing without requirements such as sobriety or employment has become a growing priority for organizations working with individuals struggling with addiction. This philosophy, known broadly as "housing first" functions on the idea that housing is a human right, and it's growing in popularity here in Iowa. 

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer speaks with housing and harm reduction experts to get a better idea of how housing first projects can support Iowa's addiction community.

Scott Webb / Unsplash

Satisfaction with your home can depend on its size compared to your neighbors' homes, according to new Iowa State University research. Dan Kuhlmann, assistant professor of community and regional planning, found that people are more likely to be dissatisfied with their house if it is smaller than their neighbors'.

newton prison painting
Katarina Sostaric / IPR

On a rainy May morning, Joshua Goemaat was painting the ceiling of a small building just down a hill from the Newton Correctional Release Center, where he’s incarcerated. The building will serve as classroom and storage space where Goemaat will work as one of the first Iowa inmates to build houses for families across the state.

Kate Payne/IPR

Iowa Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack is looking into a business that’s buying up mobile home parks in the state and then jacking up monthly bills for residents. Utah-based company Havenpark Capital plans to raise rents on tenants in Iowa by as much as 60 and 70 percent.