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GOP lawmakers trimming Governor Reynolds’ housing package

DES MOINES — Republicans in the Iowa legislature are scaling back the governor’s proposals to address Iowa’s housing shortage.

House Republicans are proposing a $25 million increase in state tax credits to companies that build low and moderate income housing for renters and buyers. Senate Republicans are proposing a lower, $15 million increase in the workforce housing program.

Senator Dan Dawson, a Republican from Council Bluffs, said the state should be getting millions to boost housing through already-approved federal pandemic relief as well as President Biden’s proposed infrastructure package.

“We didn’t want to live in a vacuum and not realize that there’s a lot of other federal monies out there that will be coming down,” Dawson said.

Senator Bill Dotzler, a Democrat from Waterloo, is supporting the plan, with reservations,  Dotzler said an immediate boost to the state’s workforce housing tax credit program is essential to attracting new businesses.

“That’s one of the real limiting factors that we’re seeing with some of these new start-ups is one of the questions that they ask is: ‘Do you have affordable housing?’” Dotzler said.

Dawson said once rules are developed for how states may spend federal money on housing programs, the legislature will review the issue in 2022 and could dedicate more state money for housing.

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