URBANDALE — The 92-unit Kading Properties townhome development in Pella is one of 19 projects being awarded Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Workforce Housing Tax Credit (WHTC) benefits.

The WHTC program focuses on developers providing workforce housing to Iowa’s small cities. Kading Properties broke ground for the project in late June near West 16th Street.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, PACE Alliance Executive Director Karen Eischen said the Kading project is much needed.

“We have great companies that attract a lot of employees with great jobs and great wages, but we don’t have anywhere for them to stay right now,” Eischen said at the ceremony.

A 2018 Marion County Housing Assessment found at least 966 additional housing units are needed by 2025 to meet the city’s expected housing growth. Of the 966 housing units, 317 are needed for rental use.

Leaders from several prominent local businesses wrote letters in support of the WHTC tax credits going toward the housing project.

“There is a dire need for more housing that is affordable to our employees as well as to attract talent to Pella to fill retail and service positions that our employees may frequent,” wrote Precision, Inc. VP of Human Resources Leslie Johnston.

Vermeer VP of Human Resources Kate Guess wrote, “…The majority of our team members commute into Pella for their day’s work, with many driving in from a more than 1-hour radius every day. More homes available in our community will greatly impact our team members that are currently working here today, but will also be a huge asset as we continue to recruit team members in the years to come.”

The project is expected to be completed in 2021. Estimated total cost of the project is valued at $10.8 million. The WHTC program provides tax credits of $1 million for this project. 

Alchemy Community Transformations, a McClure Team, provided grant writing assistance and submitted the application on behalf of Kading Properties.

“We look forward to offering solutions on workforce housing and growing with the Pella community,” said Kading CEO Karie Ramsey.

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