Housing Programs for Developers

The City of Council Bluffs Community Development offers various housing programs, some of which can be combined for maximum incentive. 

Housing Development Program

Housing Development Program: This program aims to address the need for housing in Council Bluffs by targeting the creation of 1,300 new residential units by 2033. This program is city-wide with specific priority areas, including East Manawa, First Ave, River’s Edge, and Dodge Park. The City will use funds to cover costs associated with acquisition, early architectural/engineering costs, and infrastructure development and as direct incentives to housing developers. This program is funded by Iowa West Foundation and the City of Council Bluffs ARPA funds. 

Tax-Based Incentives:

Urban Renewal: The City of Council Bluffs employs Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to spur economic development and housing initiatives within designated urban renewal areas (URN). TIF districts are established to fund public improvements and private projects, focusing on revitalizing blighted zones and supporting residential development, particularly low- and moderate-income housing.

Urban Revitalization: (URV) provides tax abatement options for eligible projects, including new multi-family housing construction with up to six years of 100% exemption on the latest tax base and rehabilitation or conversion of historic buildings for residential use with up to ten years of 100% exemption.

Locally Managed Federal Programs

HOME Investment Partnership Program: The Cities of Council Bluffs and Omaha jointly receive a HOME allocation from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The City's allocation is approximately $200,000 annually, typically earmarked for new, affordable multi-family housing construction.

State Incentives 

Workforce Housing Tax Credits: This program incentivizes developers to revitalize Iowa communities by refurbishing abandoned properties, offering up to $1 million per project in tax refunds on construction-related taxes paid.

Low-Income Housing Tax Credits: The federal low-income housing tax credit program incentivizes property owners to invest in affordable rental housing by providing dollar-for-dollar reductions in federal tax liability for ten years. Developers can apply for either 4% or 9% tax credits.

Iowa HOME Investment Partnership ProgramHUD annually allocates funding to states and localities for affordable housing priorities, with the Iowa Finance Authority administering Iowa's HOME allocation and supporting initiatives like homebuyer assistance and rental assistance.

Redevelopment Tax Credits (Brownfield/ Grayfield Sites): Developers in Iowa can receive tax credits for redeveloping brownfield and grayfield sites, which are underutilized properties with environmental contamination.

Historic Preservation Tax Credits: Iowa offers tax credits to developers rehabilitating historic buildings to preserve their character and contribute to vibrant communities, with up to 25% of qualified rehabilitation costs available.

Local Utility Sponsored

MidAmerican Energy's Nonresidential Energy Solutions: This program offers tailored energy-saving opportunities for businesses of all types, including commercial, industrial, multi-family housing, and agribusiness, through Small Business Express and Direct Project Assistance. It aims to enhance energy efficiency and reduce costs.

Black Hills Energy: Natural gas services and information for builders and developers. Here, you can find how to make a request for energy, transportation services, site location information, residential and commercial rebates, line extension process, new construction information, natural gas rates, and renewable energy resources. 

Council Bluffs Housing Development