ts bank employee Lacey Sampson volunteering

Investing for Good – Pottawattamie County Housing Trust Fund

February 8, 2021 | TS Bank

Passion for community leads to affordable housing advocate

Our local communities are full of dedicated nonprofits with inspiring missions. TS Bank wants to celebrate some of these nonprofits by featuring them in our Investing for Good blog series. Read our interview with Lacey Sampson, TS Bank employee, as well as current Board President of the Pottawattamie County Housing Trust Fund. Stay tuned for additional inspiration from nonprofits serving our community.

Could you tell us more about this organization and its mission?

The Pottawattamie County Housing Trust Fund’s mission is to be an advocate for safe and affordable housing opportunities for Pottawattamie County residents. 

The priorities of Pottawattamie County Housing Trust Fund is rental housing, homeownership assistance, and education of potential renters and owners. By focusing on these areas we are able to:

  • Entice younger families to move into the area, thus adding to the vitality of school districts
  • Improve neighborhood appearance
  • Improve the tax base by increasing valuation
  • Upturn population to share community expenses
  • Increase the amount of available, affordable, and safe housing stock
  • Help generate jobs for local contractors and businesses with housing projects

How did you get involved with the Pottawattamie County Housing Trust Fund?

I was approached by a past president of the board who knew I had a passion for our community.

What caused you to join and be part of the organization?

I wanted to be a part of something greater than myself. Also, working in the community I have seen the shortage of affordable housing and wanted to try to help with that.

What have been some projects or overall impact from this organization?

This year marks 10 years for the Pottawattamie County Housing Trust Fund. We were known as the Council Bluffs Housing Trust Fund until June of 2019. Over the last 10 years, the Pottawattamie County Housing Trust Fund has contributed $1,640,601 to 848 households. This was provided through home rehab, down payment assistance, new housing units, and rental assistance.

Any collaborative projects with others in the area?

Pottawattamie County Housing Trust Fund works and has worked with many other nonprofits and private individuals in Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County to build and rehabilitate affordable housing.

stock photo of a house in town

Where do people apply if they need assistance?

The Pottawattamie County Housing Trust Fund will be accepting proposals through February 21, 2021 for activities which are eligible for assistance under the State Housing Trust Fund Program. 

To be considered for funding, proposals must meet one of the following objectives:

  • Rental housing, including rehabilitation, new construction, emergency housing, transitional housing and permanent supportive housing
  • Homeownership assistance, including direct assistance, rehabilitation and new construction
  • Education of potential renters and owners, including general maintenance information

Priority will be given to those proposals assisting households at or below 30% of the median family income. All activities must benefit households at or below 80% of median family income.  Each successful applicant will be required to meet with the Board to review the application form and determine whether the project is eligible under the Housing Trust Fund Program requirements.

For further information and a copy of the application, please contact:

Grant administrator Don Gross at Metropolitan Area Planning Agency at 402-444-6866 X230 or dgross@mapacog.org

How can others help?

Each year to receive full grant funding from Iowa Finance Authority, the Pottawattamie County Housing Trust Fund has to obtain 25% of grant funds in matching funds which is approximately $45,000-$55,000.  These funds are secured solely through local private sector services. Both businesses and individuals can donate online at www.Pottcohtf.org

Favorite story or memory with the organization thus far?

For me, the best part of being connected with Pottawattamie County Housing Trust Fund is being able to see and hear how our grant funds impact the community. Knowing that we can help someone modify their home if they have become recently handicapped or disabled, or helping people get into a home with down payment assistance is a great feeling.  This helps impacts the county in many ways.

Any additional comments?

Have you ever donated to something where for every dollar donated, an additional $4 was added to it? That is exactly what happens when you donate to Pottawattamie County Housing Trust Fund. For every dollar donated an additional $4 is available to Pottawattamie County Housing Trust Fund to grant back for local housing needs. The need this year is greater than ever before!  In order to keep serving Pottawattamie County at full capacity we need additional donations from individuals and businesses.  Visit www.Pottcohtf.org to donate and learn more!

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