The History of Ottumwa Housing Authority

Ottumwa Housing Authority was created in 1964 by a Referendum Vote of the citizens of Ottumwa. A contract was signed with the United States Government to fund the construction of two hi-rise towers, Westgate and Southoak; these buildings were completed in 1968.

The Low-Rent Housing Statute of the State of Iowa of 1965 madates how the housing authority will be formed. The Mayor suggest names to the City Council for approval of five member Board of Commissioners. This Board of Commissioners hire the Executive Director and formulate local policy within the guidelines of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) executed a second contract with Ottumwa in 1969 to construct Camelot Towers; this tower was completed in 1972 housing ninety-nine apartments.

Ottumwa Housing Authority was originally called the Low-Rent Housing Agency of Ottumwa. The name was officially changed in 1979 to Ottumwa Housing Authority.

In 1982, a third public housing project was completed. This is a scattered site public housing project for non-eldery families.

There are 299 elderly and disables families housed in efficiency, one, and two bedroom apartments located at the three hi-rise towers. The Family Sites house 60 families with children at five locations. The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program allows for housing assistance to 237 families. Ottumwa Housing Authority housing programs within the city limits of Ottumwa assist a total of 596 families.

All tenants pay approximately 30% of their income as rent on a sliding scale until they reach the flat rent for the Public Housing or market rent for the HCV Participants.


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