Rental Housing In Iowa

Iowa Rental Overview

The population of Iowa, according to the 2010 Census, is 3,046,355. The total number of households in the state is 1,221,576. The average household size for Iowa is 2.38. The total number of renter households in the state is 340,941 which means that 27.91% of households are renter households. Compared to all other U.S. States, Iowa is ranked 49th in percentage of renters. District Of Columbia is ranked first with 57.99% and West Virginia ranks last with only 26.55%.

According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the median rent paid among all renter households and housing types and sizes in Iowa is $660 per month. Ranked against all other states in the country, Iowa ranks 47th for the highest median rent. Hawaii ranks first at $1,353 and West Virginia ranks last at $606. Though rents are set more locally, statewide median rents provide a basic outlook of housing costs for each state.

The number of vacant rental units in Iowa is 23,876 representing a vacancy rate of 6.5%. Among all U.S. states, Iowa ranks 17th for the lowest vacancy rates. New York ranks first with a vacancy rate of 4.5% and South Carolina ranks last with a vacancy rate of 12.9%. As lower vacancy rates are an indication of a healthier rental housing portfolio, Iowa’s rental housing portfolio is performing above the National average.

ProgramProjectsUnits
Project Based Section 8 218 11,498
Section 202 90 3,743
Section 811 22 252
Section 515 427 8,692
RDRA 416 7,166
LIHTC 511 17,580
Senior 349 10,135
Public Housing 45 2,588
Section 8 Voucher 71 22,851
Total 1,115 38,492
Note: The total does not necessarily equal the sum of each program as some properties may participate in multiple funding programs.

‡This program is not project based, instead Housing Authorities provide vouchers to individual renters. In the state of Iowa there are 71 independent Housing Authorities that may issue these vouchers.

The average number of units per property for affordable rentals in Iowa is 34.50. The largest market for federally assisted housing in the state is Des Moines at 4,799 units and the smallest is What Cheer at 4 unit(s). 349 apartment properties provide housing for seniors containing 10,135 units. Of the 38,492 units, 22,659 units include some form of rental assistance (like Section 8) to make rent more affordable for very low income families.

Affordable Housing by Counties in Iowa ranked by federally assisted units

There are 98 counties or county equivalents in Iowa. The county or county equivalent with the largest population is Polk County at 430,640 and the smallest is Adams County at 4,029. The county or county equivalent with the largest percentage of renter households is Story County at 44.95% and The county or county equivalent with lowest portion of renters is Lyon County at 17.4%.

The density of Federal housing assistance at the county level in Iowa ranges from a low of 27.4 units per 1,000 renter households in Ringgold County to a high of 916 units per 1,000 renter households in Union County. The average Federal housing assistance density for all counties in Iowa is 156.1 units per 1,000 renter households.

The table below summarizes the Federally assisted housing located in each county in Iowa. All major affordable housing programs are provided on a county by county basis. Click on the name of the county to see a more in depth summary of affordable housing in that county.

CountyTotal Units
Polk County 6,882
Linn County 3,031
Scott County 2,084
Pottawattamie County 1,816
Woodbury County 1,788
Black Hawk County 1,453
Johnson County 1,245
Dubuque County 1,006
Dallas County 983
Story County 896
Cerro Gordo County 751
Des Moines County 711
Jasper County 668
Muscatine County 583
Warren County 571
Webster County 554
Clinton County 446
Mahaska County 441
Poweshiek County 428
Marshall County 409
Clay County 375
Union County 352
Henry County 332
Carroll County 322
Marion County 317
Jefferson County 314
Lee County 288
Page County 268
Buena Vista County 261
Clarke County 255
Wapello County 254
Bremer County 252
Jackson County 250
Washington County 248
Dickinson County 244
Cass County 229
Boone County 224
Appanoose County 217
Buchanan County 215
Sioux County 213
Plymouth County 204
Benton County 200
Jones County 197
Wright County 186
Butler County 183
Hamilton County 183
Fayette County 182
Crawford County 179
Hardin County 179
Montgomery County 176
Iowa County 170
Madison County 168
Humboldt County 166
Decatur County 164
Allamakee County 156
Mills County 155
Calhoun County 152
Cherokee County 150
Van Buren County 146
Tama County 144
Shelby County 137
Harrison County 130
Keokuk County 129
Adair County 116
Cedar County 112
Wayne County 112
Delaware County 110
Ida County 104
Clayton County 103
Winnebago County 100
Lucas County 94
Palo Alto County 82
Monona County 78
Winneshiek County 77
Worth County 76
Kossuth County 74
Hancock County 73
Taylor County 72
Floyd County 72
Grundy County 72
Louisa County 72
Howard County 70
Davis County 60
Emmet County 60
Greene County 59
Sac County 58
Lyon County 56
Fremont County 48
Franklin County 48
Monroe County 48
Mitchell County 46
Audubon County 38
Chickasaw County 38
Pocahontas County 36
Osceola County 32
Guthrie County 32
Adams County 20
Ringgold County 13

Affordable Housing by City in Iowa ranked by federally assisted units

We are tracking 382 cities in Iowa that have at least one Federally assisted housing community. With a population of 203,433, Des Moines has the largest population of these cities. There are 96 Federally assisted housing communities in Des Moines which are home to about 4,799 families, most of which are lower income families.

The table below provides a summary of all Federally assisted housing communities by city in Iowa. All the major affordable housing funding program breakdowns are provided. Click on the city name to get a full affordable rental housing report for each city in Iowa.

CityTotal Units
Des Moines 4,799
Cedar Rapids 2,336
Sioux City 1,702
Council Bluffs 1,683
Davenport 1,641
West Des Moines 1,074
Waterloo 1,027
Iowa City 912
Dubuque 879
Burlington 584
Ames 557
Mason City 536
Newton 523
Muscatine 507
Fort Dodge 500
Marion 429
Ankeny 374
Oskaloosa 372
Altoona 368
Spencer 361
Indianola 347
Grinnell 328
Marshalltown 323
Clinton 314
Bettendorf 298
Creston 296
Fairfield 284
Osceola 255
Cedar Falls 254
Carroll 250
Storm Lake 227
Maquoketa 226
Boone 216
Atlantic 208
Pleasant Hill 205
Clear Lake 199
Bondurant 177
Nevada 176
Red Oak 176
Centerville 173
North Liberty 166
Coralville 159
Keokuk 158
Ottumwa 157
Shenandoah 152
Waverly 152
Webster City 151
Glenwood 151
Humboldt 151
Le Mars 148
Independence 148
Norwalk 144
Mount Pleasant 144
Winterset 144
Cherokee 133
Anamosa 132
Pella 131
Knoxville 130
Denison 129
Evansdale 126
Waukee 124
Lamoni 122
Tama 120
Urbandale 120
Spirit Lake 120
Clarinda 116
Adel 116
Harlan 113
Waukon 108
Sheldon 106
Milford 106
Wdm 105
Forest City 101
Grimes 100
Washington 100
Story City 98
De Witt 96
Iowa Falls 95
West Burlington 95
Greenfield 84
Oelwein 83
Chariton 82
Carlisle 80
West Union 79
Center Point 77
Perry 77
Northwood 76
Algona 74
Rock Valley 73
Mt Pleasant 72
Charles City 72
Belle Plaine 70
Walnut 69
Eagle Grove 62
Orange City 60
Johnston 60
Manchester 60
West Liberty 60
Jefferson 59
Vinton 59
Manson 58
Decorah 57
Belmond 56
Holstein 56
Marengo 56
Rock Rapids 56
Emmetsburg 56
Onawa 56
Afton 56
Bloomfield 56
Cresco 55
Grundy Center 52
Eldora 52
Clarion 52
Glidden 52
Rockwell City 51
Parkersburg 51
Tipton 51
Keosauqua 48
Woodbine 48
Columbus Junction 48
Lisbon 48
Hampton 48
Hawarden 48
Williamsburg 48
Kalona 48
Lake Mills 48
Albia 48
Postville 48
Ida Grove 48
New Sharon 47
Fort Madison 46
Winfield 44
Lake City 43
Osage 42
Humeston 42
Buffalo 41
Monroe 40
Elkader 38
Pocahontas 36
Shellrock 36
Logan 36
Wayland 36
Estherville 36
Le Claire 36
Granger 36
Sigourney 36
Brooklyn 35
Epworth 35
Leon 34
Mitchellville 33
Baxter 33
Eldon 33
Asbury 32
Ackley 32
Sioux Center 32
Hedrick 32
Sac City 32
Moville 32
Lenox 32
Montezuma 32
Sibley 32
Dyersville 32
Stuart 32
Lemars 31
Riverside 30
Moravia 30
Audubon 29
Jesup 29
North English 29
Melcher 28
Newhall 28
Sumner 28
Farmington 28
Clarksville 28
New London 28
Eddyville 26
Kingsley 25
Van Horne 25
Mechanicsville 25
Hiawatha 24
Dallas Center 24
Bedford 24
Columbus Jct 24
Toledo 24
Sioux Rapids 24
Peosta 24
Hudson 24
Schleswig 24
Corydon 24
Garner 24
Missouri Valley 24
Bonaparte 24
Otho 24
Legrand 24
Mt. Pleasant 24
Central City 24
Polk City 24
Colfax 24
Dewitt 24
Kellogg 24
Fairbank 24
Denver 24
Huxley 24
Janesville 24
Monticello 24
State Center 24
Earlham 24
Armstrong 24
West Point 23
New Hampton 23
Sidney 23
Dumont 22
Hartley 22
Delta 22
Seymour 22
Hopkinton 22
Durant 21
Agency 21
Runnells 21
Elkhart 20
Monona 20
Reinbeck 20
Coon Rapids 20
Le Grand 20
Bussey 20
Maxwell 19
Wellman 18
Mount Vernon 18
Aurelia 17
Blakesburg 17
Victor 16
Strawberry Point 16
Badger 16
Ely 16
Danville 16
Salem 16
Goldfield 16
Mediapolis 16
Jewell 16
Ainsworth 16
Rockwell 16
Leclaire 16
Ossian 16
Sloan 16
Eldridge 16
Prairie City 16
Springville 16
Lowden 16
Readlyn 16
Preston 16
Wilton 16
Packwood 16
Denmark 16
Webb 16
Birmingham 16
Ollie 16
Lake View 16
Hamburg 16
Montrose 16
Edgewood 16
Mc Gregor 15
Underwood 15
Ruthven 15
Gilmore City 15
Lime Springs 15
Richland 15
Donnellson 15
Laurel 14
Duncombe 14
Greene 14
Allison 14
Ft. Madison 14
Princeton 14
Menlo 13
Oakland 12
Danbury 12
Shelby 12
Olin 12
Allerton 12
Deep River 12
Aplington 12
Minden 12
Barnes City 12
Wyoming 12
Arlington 12
Searsboro 12
Carson 12
Soldier 12
Milton 12
Cambridge 12
Williams 12
Elk Horn 12
Lineville 12
Lewis 12
Russell 12
Dunkerton 12
Corning 12
West Branch 11
Graettinger 11
Panora 11
Dunlap 10
Douds 10
Odebolt 10
Rembrandt 10
Lake Park 10
Leighton 10
Collins 10
Mystic 10
Oxford Junction 10
Fredericksburg 10
Gilbertville 10
Mapleton 10
Anthon 9
Anita 9
Manilla 9
Malcom 9
Cushing 9
Kimballton 9
Garnavillo 9
Winthrop 9
Tabor 9
Prescott 8
Earlville 8
Clearfield 8
Batavia 8
Correctionville 8
Miles 8
Millersburg 8
Frederika 8
Atkins 8
Pleasantville 8
Oxford 8
Cantril 8
Primghar 8
Van Meter 8
Palo 8
Fairfax 8
Avoca 8
Dow City 8
Grand River 8
Ogden 8
Pisgah 8
Mingo 8
Bayard 8
New Market 8
Clermont 8
Tingley 8
Onslow 7
Ladora 7
New Hartford 6
Parnell 6
Walker 6
Urbana 6
Lost Nation 6
Libertyville 6
Walcott 6
Peterson 6
Grand Mound 6
Quasqueton 5
Kiron 5
Diagonal 5
Luana 5
Nashua 5
Treynor 5
Swedesburg 4
Emerson 4
Modale 4
Drakesville 4
Gilman 4
Norway 4
Bennett 4
Kamrar 4
Dundee 4
Mc Intire 4
Westside 4
What Cheer 4
South English 4
Paullina 4
Worthington 4
Fort Atkinson 4
Moulton 4

Housing Authorities in Iowa ranked by assisted units and vouchers

Housing authorities are governmental (or quasi-governmental) entities that manage various Federal housing assistance programs on behalf of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These programs include Public Housing, Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers and other programs.

There are 71 housing authorities in Iowa. These housing authorities own and operate an aggregate of public housing units and administer Section 8 rental vouchers. Of the 71 housing authorities, 31% have both a public housing and Section 8 program.

The largest housing authority in Iowa by total housing assistance units managed is Des Moines Municipal Housing Agency with 3,867 public housing units under management (464 public housing units and 3,403 Section 8 vouchers).

The table below provides a list of housing authorities in Iowa and includes each housing authorities public housing and Section 8 voucher count. Click on the housing authority name to get more details on the housing authority.

NamePublic Housing UnitsSection 8 Vouchers
Des Moines Municipal Housing Agency 464 3,403
City of Iowa City Housing Authority 81 1,250
Cedar Rapids Housing Services - 1,265
City of Sioux City Housing Authority - 1,200
Southern Iowa Regional Housing Authority 125 1,054
Central Iowa Regional Housing Authority 132 1,008
Waterloo Housing Authority 50 1,056
City of Dubuque - 1,073
Eastern Iowa Regional Housing Authority 164 883
Municipal Housing Agency of Council Bluffs 295 687
Region Xii Regional Housing Authority - 928
Davenport Housing Commission 42 754
Fort Dodge Municipal Housing Agency 135 627
Ottumwa Housing Authority 359 237
Muscatine Municipal Housing Agency 150 376
Northwest Iowa Regional Housing Authority - 522
Low Rent Housing Agency of Burlington 194 325
North Iowa Regional Housing Authority 121 398
Area XV Multi-County Housing Agency 84 422
Mason City Housing Authority - 483
City of Clinton, Iowa Housing Authority 50 424
City of Marshalltown Rent Assistance Program - 449
Upper Explorerland Regional Housing Authority - 407
Keokuk Housing Authority 196 171
Siouxland Regional Housing Authority - 353
Mid Iowa Regional Housing Authority - 346
Cedar Falls Housing Commission - 326
Iowa Northland Regional Housing Authority - 313
Low Rent Housing Agency of Knoxville 49 263
Southeast Iowa Regional Housing Authority - 267
Oskaloosa Municipal Housing Agency - 230
Charles City Hsg And Redev Authority 15 197
Fort Madison Housing Authority 134 70
Centerville Municipal Housing Agency 100 98
Warren County Housing Authority - 171
Grinnell Low Rent Housing Authority - 166
Evansdale Municipal Housing Authority 34 126
Low Rent Housing Agency of Spirit Lake - 142
Albia Housing Agency 40 96
Bettendorf Low Rent Housing Agency - 100
Low Rent Housing Agency of Emmetsburg - 99
Low Rent Housing Agency of Decorah - 86
Shenandoah Low Rent Housing Agency 78 -
Clarinda Low Rent Housing Agency 74 -
Northeast Nebraska Joint Housing Authority - 73
Chariton Housing Authority 72 -
Low Rent Housing Agency of Sioux Center 71 -
Low Rent Housing Agency of Onawa 62 -
Low Rent Housing Agency of Missouri Valley 52 -
Low Rent Housing Agency of Red Oak 50 -
Corning Housing Commission 47 -
Low Rent Housing Agency of Waverly 47 -
Low Rent Housing Agency of Winterset 46 -
Villisca Low Rent Housing Agency 44 -
Low Rent Housing Agency of Leon 42 -
Rock Rapids Municipal Housing Agency 36 -
Afton Housing Commission 30 -
Lenox Low Rent Housing Agency 30 -
Municipal Housing Agency of Manning 29 -
Low Rent Housing Agency of Bancroft 27 -
Low Rent Housing Agency of Mount Ayr 26 -
Low Rent Housing Agency of Hamburg 24 -
Stanton Housing Commission 20 -
Low Rent Housing Agency of Sidney 20 -
Malvern Low Rent Housing Agency 20 -
Low Rent Housing Agency of Farragut 20 -
Tabor Low Rent Housing Agency 20 -
Lone Tree Housing Commission 19 -
Essex Low Rent Housing Agency 15 -
City of Ames - -
Municipal Housing Agency of New Hampton - -

Federally Assisted Affordable Rental Housing

According to our affordable housing data, Iowa has a total of 1,115 rental properties that receive at least one form of Federal housing assistance and are at least partially reserved for low income persons. These properties contain an estimated 38,492 rental housing units. (Note: Some of the Federal source data we use does not include total unit count for a property -- most notably the LIHTC database -- so the number of units listed here may be less than the actual.)

The Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program is the largest assistance program by unit count. The program assists 17,580 in Iowa. The charts below lay out how each Federal program impact affordable housing in Iowa.

Federal Programs By Unit Count Hover over a bar to view