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Dubuque to Acquire Mobile Home Parks to Address Affordable Housing Crisis


In response to the escalating housing affordability crisis, the City of Dubuque, Iowa has unveiled plans to acquire two mobile home parks: the Swiss Valley Mobile Home Park and the Terrace Mobile Home Park. This initiative aims to preserve and expand affordable housing options for low-income residents and families.

Overview of the Acquisition Plan:

The city council approved a resolution in June 2024 to purchase the two mobile home parks, totaling approximately 150 acres. The acquisition cost is estimated to be $6.5 million, which will be funded through a combination of federal grants, city funds, and private investment.

Addressing the Affordable Housing Shortage:

Dubuque, like many other communities across the United States, is facing a severe shortage of affordable housing. This issue has been exacerbated by rising housing costs, stagnant wages, and a dwindling supply of rental units. The acquisition of the mobile home parks will provide much-needed affordable housing options for those struggling to find adequate and affordable shelter.

Specific Goals of the Acquisition:

The primary goals of the mobile home park acquisition are as follows:

  • Preserve Existing Affordable Housing: The Swiss Valley and Terrace Mobile Home Parks currently provide housing for over 250 low-income families. The city's acquisition will ensure that these units remain affordable to the residents.
  • Expand Affordable Housing Inventory: The city plans to invest in the parks to add new mobile home units and improve existing facilities. This will increase the availability of affordable housing options for Dubuque residents.
  • Provide Resident Ownership Opportunities: Over time, the city aims to establish a resident ownership program that will allow eligible park residents to purchase their mobile homes and become homeowners. This will promote long-term affordability and community stability.

Community Impact and Benefits:

The acquisition of the mobile home parks is expected to have a significant positive impact on the Dubuque community. By increasing the supply of affordable housing, the city can:

  • Stabilize Housing Costs: The influx of affordable housing units will help to stabilize housing costs for low-income residents and families.
  • Reduce Homelessness: Expanded affordable housing options can prevent homelessness by providing people with a safe and affordable place to live.
  • Improve Community Health: Stable housing is directly linked to improved health outcomes, such as reduced stress, better sleep, and overall well-being.
  • Promote Economic Growth: Affordable housing can attract and retain a diverse workforce, which is essential for economic growth and prosperity.

Next Steps and Implementation Plan:

The City of Dubuque is working closely with the mobile home park residents, community stakeholders, and private developers to ensure a smooth transition of ownership. The city has established a task force to oversee the acquisition process and develop an implementation plan. The task force will consider issues such as resident relocation, park upgrades, and financial sustainability.


The City of Dubuque's acquisition of the Swiss Valley and Terrace Mobile Home Parks is a bold and innovative approach to addressing the affordable housing crisis. By preserving and expanding affordable housing options, the city is investing in its residents, strengthening the community, and creating a more equitable and thriving future for all.

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