The Alliance for Equitable Housing is a community collaboration that was created out of disaster response from both the COVID-19 pandemic and the August 2020 derecho. The Alliance for Equitable Housing started in early 2021 to bring together community experts in housing to identify the key issues facing the community and to identify solutions to those issues. The Alliance is now releasing a progress report detailing its findings.
The progress report outlines four key areas of work and includes specific actions to help achieve the stated goals:
- Housing Quality, Resiliency, and Efficiency
- Housing Development/Scarcity of Units
- Access to Housing & Homelessness
The Alliance for Equitable Housing identified a framework leveraging community strengths and existing work. The framework is broken down into two different types of work groups – the steering committee and the action planning groups. The steering committee represents a diverse selection of community leaders in housing throughout Linn County with expertise in funding, policy, and communication. The action planning groups are made up of community experts in particular issue areas that are charged with identifying solutions to the priority issues brought up by community members. The progress report provides updates on what these key groups have learned, what they have accomplished, and what is still in development.
“This is an important step for Linn County. Work to address issues around housing has been going on for decades in the community. What makes the Alliance different, is it seeks to leverage all existing work and align it to identify and execute tangible solutions to the issues facing the community,” said Linn County Community Outreach & Assistance Director Ashley Balius.
"The housing needs in our community extend past the borders of the City of Cedar Rapids, which is why it is so important to work collaboratively with Linn County and other community partners. Utilizing groups already working on many of these issues, such as the City of Cedar Rapids’ Affordable Housing Commission, ensures we are not duplicating efforts. The Alliance brings the work of these groups together to share collectively across our community to provide real solutions to some of the most challenging housing issues in Linn County," said Sara Buck, City of Cedar Rapids Housing Services Manager.
The progress report is available on the Linn County website and CityofCR.com/Housing. The Alliance for Equitable Housing plans to launch a website with the report and more information in late July.