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Decorah City Council's Community Betterment Committee continues to discuss "afforable housing"

Posted: Wed, Jun 7, 2017 2:19 PM

Members of the Community Betterment Committee of the Decorah City Council are waiting until next month, when the final version of a housing study of Decorah is expected to be completed.

In the meantime, committee members met this week to discuss whether to continue a property tax abatement program operated by the city.  That program will expire at the end of the year unless the Decorah City council votes to continue it.

Much of the discussion about "affordable housing" has been how to define it in the City of Decorah.  The U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD)  defines it as "housing for which the occupant(s) is/are paying no more than 30 percent of his or her income for gross housing costs, including utilities."  The median family income in Winneshiek County was $54,429, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.  That would mean the average Winneshiek County family could afford up to $1,600 a month in all housing costs, including utilities and taxes.