Adequate housing-like highways, healthcare and retail establishments-is necessary to achieve desired growth and quality of life in a region. For that reason, the Tri-State Development Summit established the Housing Task Force in 2005.

According to the Housing Assistance Council’s analysis of the 2001 American Housing Survey and the 2000 Census of Population and Housing, more than 5.5 million households in non-metropolitan parts of the United States (about one-quarter of all non-metro households) rent their homes. The analysis goes on to conclude that the gap between housing costs and incomes is the most significant problem, with more than one-third of rural renters (about 1.9 million households) cost burdened-that is, they pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing.

The Housing Task Force’s mission is to provide affordable workforce housing in the tri-state area. This includes:

1. Increasing affordable housing options for the region’s workforce

2. Providing counseling to first time homebuyers

3. Identifying funding sources for housing development throughout the region

The creation of affordable housing increases community pride, helps attract industry and increases property values and the community tax base.

Project Spotlight: Aspire Partnership Homes

The innovative Aspire Partnership Homes program is a collaboration between the Joint Apprenticeship Program of the Carpenters Union and the Federal Department of Probation and Parole. The Housing Task Force is in the planning stages of this program which involves members of the Carpenter Union teaching inmates carpentry skills that allow them to build homes from the ground up. These homes would then be sold to low income home buyers. The homes would be transported from the prison to the home site and placed on a permanent foundation. Homes would be sold for $35,000 leaving the prison. The total cost with the foundation, land and fees would be between $65,000 and $70,000 for a brand new 2-bedroom home. Program partners have received initial approval to establish this program from the Federal Prison System. This win-win program will reduce recidivism while creating new home ownership opportunities and brining new housing into communities.

Focus Areas:

• Green Technology using the Iowa Model of creating energy efficient homes

• Neighborhood Stabilization Programs – Purchasing foreclosed properties, renovating these properties and then selling or renting them to low income individuals – The City of Quincy’s program resulted in 11 new units and seven rehabbed homes for low income elderly households

• Foreclosure Modification/Mortgage Relief Programs

• Northeast Community Action Corporation – Rehabilitated over 300 units of housing representing $5 million in investment in 2013

• Two Rivers Regional Council of Public Officials – Administered the Rental Housing Support program through the Illinois Housing Development Authority as well as the Hardest Hit Program, counseling 50 families struggling with their mortgages and offering over $500,000 in assistance

• Two Rivers Regional Council of Public Officials – Weatherization of 80 homes totaling $537,758 in assistance

Click here to download a PDF of the 2014 Housing Task Force Report.

Housing Task Force Summit  – June 10, 2015 – Ft. Madison

Dear Community Members:

On behalf of the Tri-State Development Summit, we are pleased to invite you to the Workforce Housing Task Force Summit on June 10, 2015 in Ft. Madison, Iowa.  The summit will be held at the former Ft. Madison Middle School, located at 18th Street and Avenue F.  Registration will begin at 9:00, including a light breakfast.  The summit will take place from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm, with lunch provided.

We are honored to welcome Tony Hernandez, the Rural Housing Service Administrator for USDA, as the keynote speaker.  Other speakers include Rick Bloxham from Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, Nicole Clements from Illinois Association of Community Action Agencies, Melford Ferguson from NeighborWorks, a representative from the Tri-State Development Summit, Donald Patrick from North East Community Action Corporation, Carla Potts from North East Community Action Corporation, Dan Eberhardt from Southeast Iowa Regional Planning, and Elaine Davis from Two Rivers Regional Council of Public Officials.   Speakers will cover a variety of topics including federal and state housing initiatives, innovative financing opportunities, and faith-based partnerships.

In addition to the speakers, this event will provide a unique glimpse of the transformation of the former Ft. Madison Middle School into a 38 unit apartment complex.  The project is the largest solar energy provider of any residential building in the State of Iowa.  Attendees will be able to view finished apartments that have historic character while at the same time provide ample and contemporary workforce housing.  Come and learn how this sustainable housing project can be replicated in your community!

Please RSVP to by Monday, June 2, 2015 with the following information:  Organization, Name, Address, Email address, and Phone number.

If you have any questions, please contact Carla Potts at 573-324-6622 or

We look forward to seeing you in Fort Madison on June 10!


Carla Potts, Deputy Director of Housing Development
North East Community Action Corporation

Dan Eberhardt, Regional Planner
Southeast Iowa Regional Planning

Elaine Davis, Housing Coordinator
Two Rivers Regional Council of Public Officials