Increase in rent prices cause affordable housing issue in Sioux City

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – With an influx of temporary workers brought to Sioux City by construction projects, including the 2016 expansion of CF Industries, housing prices have seen a steady increase over the last decade.

It’s a supply and demand deal because more people were moving to the area the price of rent increased.

Sioux City Mayor pro tempore Dan Moore said once rent prices go up, it’s difficult to bring back down, but says council members acknowledge the issue and are working to fix it and finding ways to bring down the cost of rent.

“We need to build housing units, whether they’re apartments or single-family dwellings or multifamily dwellings, such as townhomes or duplexes. We’ve got to get out there in the field, look at what land we have available, look at what structures can be built, types of structures,” Moore said.

Moore said the city is working to build in areas where houses have been red-tagged or torn down. By building in existing neighborhoods, the city hopes it will lead to more affordable options for renters.

Single mom Kelli Lowell said she’s rented in town for nearly two decades and has struggled to keep up with rising prices.

“It’s too high. I rent a house for $800. It’s got a lot of issues. It’s expensive. For a single mom, I’ve had to work two or three jobs to maintain it and it’s tough,” Lowell said.

Moore said council members are calling on state legislatures to help Sioux City create affordable housing, but that does little to address the problems the city is facing now.

“In the meantime, we can still pursue grants. We can pursue no-interest loans and different programs. When will that level off? When will that come down? I think that remains to be seen. We can still do our homework that needs to be done and we will do that.” Moore said.

Moore said it’s been difficult trying to accomplish affordable housing with high priced products due to the pandemic.

He adds that once prices go down, he’s hopeful the city can work with developers to create more affordable housing within the next couple of years.

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