Civic News & Info
Iowa’s Unincorporated Areas Lose Population in 2010 Census PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Joy Venhorst   
Thursday, 30 June 2011 12:24

AMES, Iowa — Iowa’s unincorporated areas — the countryside outside any town or city limits — lost population according to the 2010 census, reversing a gain seen in the 2000 census. The loss of 20,000 residents put those areas at a level lower than 1990, as detailed in the report “Countryside and Town: Population in Iowa’s Counties Within and Outside of Incorporated Places, 1990 – 2010,” provided by the Community Vitality Center, at Iowa State University.

Sandra Burke, assistant scientist in economics, said the gain seen between 1990 and 2000 was due, in part, to residents living on acreages and in unincorporated developments. It is somewhat surprising to see losses from open-country areas in some of Iowa’s larger counties. Annexation activities on the part of communities might account for some of those losses.

“What’s happening in some of these areas that are traditionally more rural and farm-based is that they are aging out. Younger residents are graduating high school and not returning, and gradually you lose people in the child-bearing age group,” Burke said. “You don’t have many children born in these areas and older residents are retiring off their farms.”

Burke said that the unincorporated areas are not the same as the census’s rural data, since the rural data include small towns. She said towns are better at holding their populations, but the loss in countryside areas does affect businesses in towns, especially in small- to medium-sized towns. “As there is a loss of population base, that will impact the kinds of retail operations you can support in a smaller community,” she added.

Burke said some of the challenges for Iowa will be to look at farm succession trends, and work with young farmers to come in and take over operations from retiring farmers. She also said finding young entrepreneurs and their families to come into smaller towns to build businesses will be a key effort to maintaining population and vitality.

The full report is available for download from the Community Vitality Center website at

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Hispanic Population Continues to Rise in Iowa PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joy Venhorst   
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 15:40

AMES, Iowa – More than 151,000 Iowans claimed Hispanic or Latino origin on the 2010 census questionnaire. This is the largest minority group in the state at five percent, as detailed in the Iowa State University Extension report “Race and Hispanic Origin in Iowa’s Counties, 1980-2010.”

The White group in Iowa still outnumbers other groups, at 91 percent, but minority groups have increased by 11.3 percent in the last decade. The number of Whites increased by nearly 33,000, whereas minority groups increased by 130,000.

The Hispanic (any race) minority group increased the most in Iowa over the last decade.

“For some of these counties and communities, there are many minority people, and in other areas there are relatively few,” said Sandra Burke, assistant scientist in economics. “In a number of these counties, it’s going to be largely an increase in the Latino/Hispanic population.”

Crawford County and Buena Vista County had the highest percentage of Hispanics, 24.2 and 22.7 percent respectively. Many other counties reported more than 10 percent Hispanic/Latino population.

“Those counties have had more Hispanic and Latino people taking the hard jobs in the meat plants, as well as jobs in ag processing, construction and hotel service; perhaps more than other racial groups have shown at this point,” Burke said.

The full report is available for download on the Community Vitality Center website at


Braley Fights for Eldridge Post Office PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Alexandra Krasov   
Monday, 20 June 2011 14:10

Washington, DC –Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) sent a letter to United States Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe demanding answers about the United States Postal Service (USPS) reduction of service at the Eldridge post office.

“I’m very concerned that my constituents in Eldridge will not receive the same quality of service they’ve come to rely on once these changes go into effect,” said Rep. Braley. “Small communities depend on their local post office and I know how much this service means to Eldridge. That’s why I’ll continue fighting to protect access to this post office and I’ll work to make sure we all receive timely and accurate information about how these reductions in service will affect the community of Eldridge.”

The USPS confirmed last week that the delivery operations at the Eldridge Post Office will be relocated to the Northwest Station in Davenport, IA as part of the Delivery Unit Optimization (DUO) process. The DUO initiative involves moving city and/or rural letter carriers from one Post Office, station, or branch to another nearby postal facility. 
Services such as purchasing stamps, mailing packages, Post Office boxes, passports, and any other service currently available at local postal facilities will continue to be offered at the Eldridge facility and ZIP Codes will remain the same.

A copy of the letter is available here:


News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by HUD Public Affairs   
Monday, 20 June 2011 13:00

Program is Designed to Help Homeowners at Risk of Foreclosure

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in conjunction with NeighborWorks® America announced the launch of the Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program (EHLP) today, to help homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure in 27 states across the country and Puerto Rico.

Congress provided $1 billion dollars to HUD, as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, to implement EHLP. The program will assist homeowners who have experienced a reduction in income and are at risk of foreclosure due to involuntary unemployment, underemployment, due to economic conditions or a medical condition.

Under EHLP program guidelines eligible homeowners can qualify for an interest free loan which pays a portion of their monthly mortgage for up to two years, or up to $50,000, whichever comes first.

“Through the Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program the Obama Administration is continuing our strong commitment to help keep families in their homes during tough economic times,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “Working with our community partners across the nation through NeighborWorks® America, we are pleased to launch this program today in 27 states and Puerto Rico to help families keep their homes while looking for work or recovering from illness.”

The EHLP program will pay a portion of an approved applicant’s monthly mortgage including missed mortgage payments or past due charges including principal, interest, taxes, insurances, and attorney fees. EHLP is expected to aid up to 30,000 distressed borrowers, with an average loan of approximately $35,000.

“Through our work around the country, NeighborWorks® America knows all too well that in these tough economic times, homeowners facing foreclosure are seeking help wherever they can find it. The deadline is July 22, 2011, so we encourage homeowners to apply now in order to find out if  they qualify for this new mortgage assistance program and learn more about the many options available to assist those with housing needs,” stated Eileen M. Fitzgerald, CEO of NeighborWorks® America.

The EHLP program is a complement to the Hardest Hit Fund which makes available $7.6 billion to 18 states and the District of Columbia that were hardest hit by the housing crisis. The EHLP program will be offered in the following states: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming and Puerto Rico.  Five states operating substantially similar programs are administering EHLP directly: Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. With today’s launch, mortgage assistance is now available for unemployed and underemployed homeowners in every state.

Contact information for participating agencies, the Pre-Applicant Screening Worksheet and more information on the EHLP program and its eligibility requirements can be found at or by calling toll free at 855-FIND-EHLP (346-3345).

About the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at and

About NeighborWorks® America

NeighborWorks® America creates opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. Since 1991, we have assisted nearly 1.2 million low- to moderate-income families with their housing needs. Much of our success is achieved through our support of the NeighborWorks network ― more than 235 community development organizations working in more than 4,400 urban, suburban and rural communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $15 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation’s leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.


News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Barb Braun   
Monday, 20 June 2011 12:44
ROCK ISLAND – The board of the Broadway Historic District Association has voted unanimously to recommend the Rock Island City Council stabilize old Lincoln School at 22nd Street and 7th Avenue. The board made the decision at its meeting June 16, 2011, based on results from a recent email survey sent to Broadway residents and property owners, as well as surrounding neighborhoods. The 118-year-old school is located within the boundaries of the Broadway Historic District, a residential area comprised of late 19th and early 20th century homes.

Of the 100 survey respondents, 83.5 percent are in favor of the city council spending $221,000 to repair the building’s roof and structural elements, and install basic electric service and ventilations. About 16 percent said they would prefer the school to be demolished. An architect firm’s study estimated it would cost $200,000 to $300,000 to demolish the building. The Broadway board was dismayed to learn last Monday the city council was leaning toward demolishing the school without a plan to enhance the property.

“Demolishing a structure of great significance to the neighborhood and the city without a purpose in mind reflects a lack of vision,” says Deb Kuntzi, president of the Broadway Historic District Board. “The support from the neighborhood and other Rock Island residents for saving this school is tremendous, and so is its potential for reuse. We urge the city council not to make a hasty decision without further thought and exploration.” 

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