Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity is excited to partner with the South District Neighborhood Association to collect and distribute winter clothing on behalf of residents of the South District of Iowa City. The Winter Clothing Drive & Distribution is now accepting donations of new and gently used winterwear of all styles and sizes including coats, hats, gloves, scarves, and more.
Drop off donations at Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity ReStore, located at 2401 Scott Blvd SE in Iowa City. Donation hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Donations will be accepted through Friday October 23rd. Please call ReStore at (319) 338-5687 with any questions.
Donations can also be made via local realtor Julie Dancer at her office located at 2346 Mormon Trek Blvd in Iowa City. Julie can be reached at (319) 310-5522.
All donations will benefit the South District resident community of Iowa City and will be distributed at the South District Mural Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Friday October 23rd from 3:30pm to 5:00pm. The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will take place at 1030 Crosspark Ave in Iowa City.
My name is Solano and I am an AmeriCorps Vista working with Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity. I decided to become an AmeriCorps Service Member so I could work closely with people in the communities where they live. I was lucky to be recruited by a team of passionate individuals who dedicate their lives to serving this community.
I am excited to work with Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity where I have been given an opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. Now more than ever, community means everything and there’s no better time to slow down, listen to our neighbors, and to reach out to and invest in each other and our community. In these difficult times, every gesture of kindness makes a difference and while the stakes are higher than ever before, we’re left with no better choice than to pour our gifts into the communities that we belong to.
We should all feel proud to live in the Iowa City area because here runs an endless stream full of raw talent and pure compassion. This is our treasure, breathing and walking within our community. Our job, then, is to look for any loose ends and tie those knots as close together as we can. Everyone has a unique talent. Everybody is invaluable.
Each morning when we arrive at IVHFH, already the place is bursting with activity: Residents drive in to make donations to ReStore that will soon be purchased and taken away again. Some bring in antique furniture to be restored or repurposed, many drop off surplus construction materials, and they can even dispose of recyclable items on site. At Habitat, we have a dedicated team of builders and a long tradition of AmeriCorps Service Members who get out there every day and go back home feeling a sense of accomplishment. In a way, IVHFH feels like one of the many hubs of our community; a place where people come to be a part of something larger than themselves.
Myself, I mainly work with the South District in Iowa City. I am in permanent contact with many residents there, but when given the chance, I’ll jump at any opportunity to meet a few more. I make it my job to make contact and to maintain open communication with residents of the South District. I am always eager to meet new people and I want to listen to any stories you want to tell me about your experience of living, working, or going to school in the South District. At Habitat, we value our neighbors and we want to give back to the community. With the help of neighbors like you and our residents/business owners’ expertise about our South District neighborhood, I want to amplify your voices all across this community. If you’d like to reach out, feel free to give me a call at (319) 337-8949 or email me at email@example.com.
plumbing, and electrical. IVHFH will also complete roof repair, ramp construction, and other carpentry work.
IVHFH Executive Director, Heath Brewer, sums up the program, “ERMAR is a response to an unmet need in our community. We get a lot of calls about work that needed to be done yesterday, and a lot of these situations are especially complicated for very low-income households. So, we’ve adjusted some of our processes and procedures and fundraising to be able to respond appropriately to these needs.”
For more information about the program or an application, please contact program director, Scott Hawes, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (319)519-3275.
Our goal is to assist at least 10 Johnson County homeowners in the next year, but we need your help to achieve this goal. Make a donation to the ERMAR program today!
At Iowa Valley Habitat, we — like so many — are adapting and continue to work with compassion and hope (and safety!). We are balancing how best to assist our community members through this time while also considering what our organization may look like in the future. For the past two months, we have directed much of our efforts to support other agencies providing much-needed services like food delivery and rapid re-housing. To continue our work of improving housing stability through affordable homeownership, we have also completed and sold both of our new affordable homes in Hills, are finishing up a rehab in Iowa City, and continue to complete Helping Hands projects. Although we are unsure when we might get back to building new affordable homes, our greatest goal at Habitat throughout this strange time remains the same: to lovingly work in partnership, for the betterment of all in our community.
-Article written by Gabe Martin, IVHFH Community Outreach Director
Homes to deliver home essentials to those in our community who are resettling.
When the calendar turns to June, we will get started on a repair project in Wellman. We are excited by the thought of doing what we do best: building. In the meantime, it is reassuring to know that, amid an extraordinary amount of uncertainty that has transformed so much, our community has a strong network of organizations that continue to work to provide safe and decent housing. The Helping Hands crew is happy to roll up their sleeves and be a part of that.
-Article written by Scott Hawes, IVHFH Helping Hands Manager
In news from the community, the Johnson County Livable Community Housing Action Team is hosting a series of webinars that will provide attendees with information related to aging. The webinars are free and open to people of all ages. They will be held the second Wednesday of each month at 12:00pm. To register, click here or view the webinars through the Johnson County Social Services Facebook page.
Small Gift. Big Impact. Campaign Helps IVHFH Finish Critical Home Repair for a Washington Homeowner.
Here is a new twist on an old hypothetical question: What would be your first meal? Specifically, if it was not safe for you to have a refrigerator or stove in your home, what is the first meal you would prepare once your home became safe? For Washington homeowner, Jackie, the answer was her grandson’s favorite: tatertot casserole with chocolate chip cookies for dessert.
As many followers of IVHFH are aware, Jackie’s house was unsafe; the kitchen flooring was damaged so badly that she feared the subfloor would collapse; the cabinet doors did not stay shut; the electrical wiring was outdated and a fire hazard, and the framing for one of the walls was severely rotted. The damage was so significant that Jackie gave away her heavy appliances out of fear that her floor would collapse. Remarkably, Jackie and her grandson lived for more than two years without a washing machine, dryer, and stove. She was resourceful so she leaned on friends to help her with laundry, and she cooked meals in the microwave and crock-pot. Nonetheless, she longed for the day when she could once again spend the time to prepare her grandson’s favorite meal.
Unable to pay for the costly repairs and unable to secure a home equity loan, Jackie turned to IVHFH’s Helping Hands program for a hand-up. After selecting Jackie’s home for an affordable repair project, IVHFH oversaw a complete transformation of the kitchen in which the subflooring was replaced, the floor joists were reinforced, the wiring brought up to code, the framing issues corrected, and new cabinets installed. IVHFH also addressed a few exterior concerns by replacing the electrical service, installing new porch lights, and replacing an exterior door. IVHFH wrapped up the project by installing new light fixtures, a new stove, a new refrigerator, and a washing machine. These repairs mean more to Jackie than simply having a safe home; preparing meals at home allows her to save money and, because
she no longer relies solely on canned food, her meals are healthier. Additionally, she will teach her grandson basic life skills so that he is able to do laundry, cook, and wash dishes. Soon, her grandson will be able to prepare her favorite meal.
IVHFH’s strength lies in bringing people together who wish to make homeownership affordable. This project was no different as more than 70 people came together to support Jackie with nearly $3,000 in contributions to our Small gift. Big impact. campaign. IVHFH is eternally grateful for this support and thanks all who contributed by donating and sharing the campaign with their friends and family. Your support is sincerely appreciated.
-Article written by Scott Hawes, IVHFH Helping Hands Manager
Each year, IVHFH seeks an influential woman in the community to honor with the Women Build. The honoree works with a committee of women to raise $55,000 in local donations and recruit volunteers to help a local family build an affordable home and to help an existing homeowner make affordable repairs or accessibility modifications to their home. Along with the efforts of the Women Build committee, a local family will partner with IVHFH to build an energy-efficient home that they will purchase with an affordable home mortgage. The Habitat homeownership program ensures that the household pays no more than 30% of their income to cover housing costs allowing more of their funds to be dedicated toward other essentials like education, health and transportation. Additionally, Women Build will support a local resident in need of critical home repairs and/or accessibility modifications. Through Helping Hands, a homeowner will receive affordable repairs so they can live more safely in their existing home.
Jane and the Women Build committee encourage everyone, regardless of gender, to take part in any way they can. We need supporters to swing a hammer on the construction site, provide food for volunteers, make in kind donations or financial donations and attend fundraising events.
Consider a donation today to help IVHFH reach its $3,500 fundraising goal for this project. With your support, we can help make housing safe for more homeowners in our community.
Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity believes safe, decent, and affordable is transformational, so a sense of melancholy fell over the entire organization when, amid pleas for help from residents of manufactured housing parks, a bill that would offer basic protections to our fellow community members failed in sub-committee last month. The protections in the bill were reasonable as they would require owners of manufactured home parks to provide 180 days notice prior to raising lot rents, justify lot rent increases greater than inflation, and protect tenants from arbitrary evictions. Its aim, to give residents of manufactured housing the same protections as tenants in more traditional housing, was modest. More tangibly, it would prevent scenes like this. That the bill did not even get a hearing is perplexing. Legislators went to great lengths to receive input from all stakeholders that would be directly impacted by the bill, including residents and owners of manufactured housing parks. Further yet, support for the bill was not split along party lines as 15 Republican Senators joined 15 Democratic Senators in co-sponsoring the bill.
While this development is discouraging, we don’t feel a sense of defeat. There is strong support for key components of the bill, and some of those components may be taken up for consideration later in the 2020 legislative term. For now, however, there are leaders in our community who continue to advocate for just housing laws for manufactured housing residents. IVHFH staff supports their efforts and encourage you to read up on the issues surrounding manufactured housing, starting with the links below. We also urge you to support the efforts led by the Johnson County Affordable Housing Coalition and Johnson County Manufactured Housing Task Force. If you are interested in obtaining more information or joining one of these groups, contact Sara Barron at email@example.com
Learn more about the proposed bill and the crisis many manufactured housing residents are facing:
Johnson County Mobile Home Task Force Report
Des Moines Register: "'The scale was unprecendented': Iowa legislators seek to bolster righst of mobile home park residents"
Iowa City Press Citizen: "North Liberty mobile home residents worry about 58 percent rent increase"