Saturday, December 31, 2016

It Was a very good Year

When looking back at 2016, we at Prairie Hill have much to be grateful for. As member Carolyn Dyer has recently posted on our Facebook page, there have been many, many people and institutions demonstrating their support for this, the first cohousing community in Iowa. Here is a list of just a few happenings during the past year:

  • The City of Iowa City approved the plans for Prairie Hill.
  • Our land was cleared for development.

  • The Johnson County Soil and Water Conservation District designated funds to be used for sustainable stormwater management in our project, including a bio-retention cell and soil improvement.
  • In various ways, we have played around with future floor plans.

  • The Housing Trust Fund of Johnson County and an anonymous donor have granted funds for down-payment assistance for three income-qualified households.
  • We've spread the word about our future community and met wonderful people along the way.

  • We are planning 15 homes that qualify us for a large Iowa Workforce Housing Tax Credit and a companion grant from the City of Iowa City.
  • The Great Western Bank has approved our construction loan for this new-to-them and new-to-Iowa project.
  • We have visited and studied prairies in preparation for planting our own.

  • Uptown Bill's and the Housing Fellowship have provided meeting space for our regular information meetings.
  • In working together and planning for our future home, we are building community.

  • We've learned about sociocracy as we prepare our structures for decision-making and general cooperation.

  • A crowd gathered in November for our groundbreaking ceremony.
  • In preparation for imminent infrastructure work, Apex Construction has installed a porta potty and a mailbox!
  • And our membership continues to grow as the idea of living in a cohousing community draws many wonderful people to us.
For all this and more, we are thankful!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Advantages of Home Ownership

Iowa City Cohousing has been committed to affordable home ownership since the beginning. We already have a grant for down payment assistance for low income households. We are arranging a way for people to make tax-deductible contributions to our affordable housing funds! We will let you know the specifics soon!

A research summary on the Habitat for Humanity website* (link below) shows that:

  • Homeownership leads to better health
  • Homeownership leads to greater educational achievements.
  • Homeownership provides better security and safety.
  • Homeownership helps generate wealth building and a pathway out of poverty.

Clearly homeownership makes a difference for children, families and communities.

We will keep you posted on how you can be involved!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Action on the Land!

This outhouse and mailbox are precursors of the near future, when strong machines will be seen breaking through the frozen crust and begin putting in the infrastructure for Prairie Hill. Progress! We'll take it!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Iowa City Cohousing Display at Saturday's Holiday Market - Come and Talk to Us!

Every pre-holiday season, Iowa City sponsors two Holiday Markets, the second and last one happening this coming Saturday, December 10th, from 8-1:00 at the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center, 220 South Gilbert St. in Iowa City. One reason you might want to make the trip to the market this Saturday is because Iowa City Cohousing will have a display of site plans and building plans, accompanied by various cohousing members. It's a good time to find out more about the community if you'd like to hear about recent progress and future timelines. Our tables will be on the ground floor, at the east end of a row, two rows from the north end of the room. They will be under the banner of Wapsinonoc Gardens.

Another reason you might want to come by is that we'll have a new book available that several IC Cohousing members have been working on for the past 2 1/2 years: Taste a Little of the Summer: Eating Locally, Living Sustainably.  Here's a picture of it: