Palmer College of Chiropractic is planning an expansion covering over 37 acres of land in central Davenport. This project will displace hundreds of residents. The Quad Cities Democratic Socialists of America has been collecting signatures of the residents on a petition asking the city to table this plan until further a number of concerns are addressed.
Several of the concerns are with the Disparate Impact Analysis report put together by Mosiac Community Planning. Some of these concerns are:
- The report shows that 75 units (not owned by Palmer) are expected to be demolished. Many of these rent between $400.00 – $650.00 per month, and are therefore are affordable for low income households. They will be replaced with student housing.
- There is no plan for Palmer to contribute funding for affordable housing for the units they are demolishing.
- As Palmer buys more property, it goes from private taxable status to nonprofit status, reducing tax income to the City of Davenport, and further reducing opportunities for funding affordable housing.
- The methodology to measure the disparate impact of the PID used in the Mosaic report was called into question in a report put together by Calvin Bradford and the Davenport Civil Rights Commission. According to the Bradford Report, the small population makes the calculations for statistical significance unsatisfactory (they have too large of a range of error). Alternate methods are needed that analyze the impact of the PID on the non-student minority population in order to comply with the Fair Housing Act.
- The Mosaic Report makes several recommendations that have not yet been added to the expansion plan. These include adding conditions to the zoning approval to mitigate or eliminate the potential displacement, generating partnerships between Palmer, the City, and nonprofits like Humility of Mary Housing to develop creative solutions beneficial to the neighborhood and relocating athletic fields to preserve housing units.
In addition, the Quad Cities DSA is asking for further considerations in the plan. We believe many creative solutions could be found, like allowing for some percentage of land in the PID to be used as community gardens, parks, and native prairie restoration. We also believe 50% of the historic properties slated for demolition could be kept as affordable rental units. Palmer could also contribute funds to existing plans for affordable housing.
The City of Davenport already faces an affordable housing shortage. According to the Institute for Community Alliances “September 2017 Analysis of Iowa Housing”:
- In September, 2017 423 units at $504.00 and less were available. But there are 7,155 households in need of housing at that level.
- 21% – or 1 out of 5 households in Scott County are paying more than 50% of their monthly income on housing
- In 2016, 1,767 evictions occurred in Scott County (the second highest of Iowa’s counties). 40% of those evictions were the result of a “rent-burdened” household
- In 2016, 1,559 persons were forced into homelessness in Scott County
Please contact us at https://www.facebook.com/quadcitiesdsa/ if you would like to get involved in the effort to make this plan fairer to residents.