Can I get a refund if I decide not to do the work?
Yes, 80% of the fee may be refunded, if no work is done within 180 days of issuance.
Can you tell me if a specific company is authorized to perform construction work in Sioux City?
Yes. Simply contact Building Services at 712-224-5216 to verify if a contractor is licensed. The City requires a bond for contractors while the State of Iowa licenses electrical contractors, plumbing contractors and mechanical (heating, ventilation, AC, and refrigeration) contractors and we can verify those licenses for you.
Does my building permit cover the electrical, mechanical and plumbing work?
Yes although only if licensed electrical, mechanical and plumbing contractors complete the work.
How can I check to see if my contractor has a permit for work he is doing?
You may contact Building Services at 712-224-5216
How can I contact my inspector if I have questions?
Inspectors are available in the office Monday through Friday from 8am to 4:30pm. They can be reached at 712-224-5216
How do I report dilapidated (rundown) properties?
You can contact a Housing Inspector at 712-224-5216 to report rundown and unsafe housing conditions. The City also requires vacant buildings that meet certain criteria to be registered to ensure they are secured and maintained.
How long after I obtain a permit do I have to begin construction?
Work must be commenced and an inspection requested within 180 days of permit issuance. Failure to initiate construction work and call for inspection will invalidate the permit.
How much does a building permit cost?
The building permit fee is based on the valuation of construction. A valuation and fee schedule is available at the Building Services Division. It is also available online.
What do I need to do if I own a rental property?
No person shall occupy, allow to be occupied, advertise for occupancy, solicit occupants of, or let to another person for occupancy any residential rental unit within the City that has not been permitted as residential rental unit by the City. All rental properties must be registered with the City to ensure they meet minimum housingstandards. An application is available online or at the Building Services Department. There is a minimal fee forthis annual application.
What happens if I do work without a permit?
Work done without obtaining a building permit is always a problem for both the homeowner and the inspector. The inspector cannot inspect the work if he can’t see it; hence you will be required to remove wall and/or ceiling coverings to the extent that a proper inspection may be obtained. If any code violations are noticed during the inspection process, said violations will be required to be corrected. Additionally, an individual who refuses to obtain a building permit is subject to administrative citations through the code enforcement process.
What if I sell my house and have done work without a permit?
Any homeowner who sells a house must make the buyer aware of any work which was completed without required permitsor inspections on the realty disclosure form.
What information do I need to bring to get a building permit?
An approximate cost of the work must be provided. Site plans, foundation plans and floor plans may be required.These plan specifications and diagrams must be submitted for reviews that adequately detail how the proposed work is to be completed. The submitted plans shall be complete enough that the inspector could build the project looking at submitted plans.
What number do I call for locating underground utility lines before I dig on my property?
Iowa One Call at 1-800-292-8989.
When do I need to get a building permit?
A permit must be obtained for any construction work completed on a building that is regulated by the building code. If you are unsure if you need to obtain a permit call 712-224-5216. Some examples of projects that need a permit are:
Basement or Lower Level Finish (if not done as part of new home construction)
Additions & Remodels
Decks more than 30” above grade
Window & exterior door replacement (if opening size is changed)
Accessory structures (garages, etc) in excess of 120 sq. ft.
Fences over 72" in height and retaining walls over 48" in height
Why is a building permit required?
A building permit is required to ensure code compliance for structural integrity and minimum life safety for building, plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems.
Cone Park FAQ
Are gift certificates available?
Yes. You may call the Parks & Rec office at 712-279-6126 and pay with a credit card over the phone; or, you can stop into the office and buy them with cash, check, or credit card.
Are season passes available?
Not at this time. They may be available in the future.
Can I accompany my child down the hill?
We will have a limited supply of double tubes available to assist small children. Minimum age is 5 years old.
Can I bring my own skates for the ice skating rink?
Yes. Customers may bring their own ice skates.
Can I bring my own tube?
No. Outside tubes are not allowed. Tubes are provided by Cone Park.
Can I have a birthday party at Cone Park during normal operating hours?
Yes. Tables are first-come, first-serve. We recommend registering for your desired tubing session. You are allowed to bring in birthday cake/cupcakes. This is the only outside food we allow during the winter season. No outside drinks allowed.
Call the Parks & Recreation Office at 712-279-6126
Stop into the Parks & Recreation Office at 401 Gordon Drive
Payment must be made a time of reservation.
How do you get back up the hill?
A carpet lift will take you to the top of the hill. It is like an escalator.
How do you stop at the bottom of the hill?
There is a run-out area to decrease your speed and a reverse grade at the bottom of the hill to slow you down.
How do you take care of the ice at the ice skating rink?
Parks & Recreation staff will be using a Zamboni to take care of the ice sheet.
If the tubing hill is full, can I ice skate?
Yes. The fee to ice skate is $5.00. You may bring your own skates or rent skates for $3.00.
Is snowboarding available?
No. Snowboarding is not currently available.
Is the Day Lodge ADA accessible?
Yes. The lodge meets all ADA requirements.
Is the tubing hill ADA accessible?
We recommend users with mobility issues utilize the Off-Hours Park Rental option for accommodations. If proper assistance is available during normal operating hours for any of these individuals, they may attend any session.
Cash, credit cards and debit cards are accepted. Checks are NOT accepted. ALL sales are FINAL. No refunds or exchanges.
What hours are you open? How much does it cost?
Tubing & Skating
5:00pm - 9:00pm
Saturday & Sunday
9:00am - 1:00pm
1:00pm - 5:00pm
5:00pm - 9:00pm
5:00pm - 9:00pm
Friday & Saturday
9:00pm - 11:00pm
Ice Skating Only (no tubing)
When are private rentals available?
Private rentals and field trips will be available beginning January 2, 2018. See Private Rental rates.
When are the laser lights on?
The laser lights will only be operating during Cosmic Tubing, Thursday nights from 5:00pm - 9:00pm (beginning 1/18) and Friday and Saturday nights, 9:00pm – 11:00pm.
When does music play?
Music will be played at all times - day and night.
When will Cone Park open?
Cone Park, located at 3800 Line Drive, will open on Thursday, December 21, 2017 at 5:00pm. Keep up with the latest on the Cone Park Sioux City Facebook page.
When will the ice skating rink open?
The ice skating rink will be opening in mid-January 2018.
Where can I park?
Parking is available on the west side of Line Drive or in the ibp Ice Center parking lot.
Where does the water come from to make the snow?
The water to make the snow is pumped from the storm water and run off in the Sertoma Park pond.
What are the benefits to a landlord for participating in the Housing Choice Voucher Program?
Housing Choice Vouchers provide a safety net for tenants and owners alike.
Consistent Rent Payment: Renting to a HCV tenant allows you to receive a portion of the rental payment on a consistent basis each month. Tenants who meet certain requirements are granted a Housing Choice Voucher from SCHA which allows them to look for housing within a certain price range. Once the rental unit has been approved and inspected by SCHA, and a lease has been signed with the tenant, SCHA is responsible for paying the determined Housing Assistance Payment directly to the landlord each month. SCHA will either mail you a check or they will deposit the amount directly into your bank account. A tenant is still responsible for a percentage of the rent and must pay this portion directly to you. HCV tenants know that failure to comply with the terms of the lease agreement, including paying rent, could result in the loss of their rental subsidy and a sanction of up to three years. Therefore, they have a strong incentive to pay their portion of the rent each month.
Targeted Marketing: If you decide to make your property HCV friendly, you have some unique marketing opportunities available to you. These opportunities exists both online and in person.
Online: If you choose to advertise your rental property online, not only can you advertise the property on traditional sites such as Craigslist, but SCHA has a website that is dedicated specifically to HCV tenants. It’s called AssistanceCheck.com. First you must register online by creating a property owner account. SCHA will mail a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to participating property owners upon request or they may call 712-279-6348 to request a PIN. Once registered, you are free to post any HCV friendly listing you have on the site. This is a great free resource as it allows you to specifically target the HCV market.
In Person: When marketing to HCV tenants, you not only have the traditional marketing venues available to you, such as grocery stores and community bulletin boards, but you can also provide additional information to the SCHA office. You can add your property to their Listing Book of available rentals. This list can be viewed as a hard-copy directly at the office. This marketing method is a great way to reach those that may not have internet access and to hone in even more on your local HCV market. It is also free of charge.
Rental History: SCHA is required to provide the landlord with the following information upon request: SCHA must provide the owner with the family's current and prior address (as shown in the SCHA records); and the name and address (if known to SCHA) of the landlord at the family's current and prior address.
Can I get my payments direct deposited?
Yes, SCHA offers you the opportunity to receive your Housing Choice Voucher Program payments electronically through ACH (direct deposit) from the City of Sioux City. Direct deposit electronic payments are prompt, efficient, and a more reliable method for receiving payments than receiving payments through the US mail.
In order for you to participate in the direct deposit payment system, you must provide an email address for the City to send payment remittance to. A Microsoft Word document containing Invoice # (tenant information) and Invoice Amount is attached to an email that is sent to the email address specified on the authorization form. If you choose not to sign up for the direct deposit payment system, you will continue to receive checks via the US mail. To sign up for ACH (direct deposit); please contact Stephanie at 279-6275 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I still request an annual Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection if my unit will be “skipped” as part of the new biennial inspection process?
Yes. Owners and tenants have the right to request an inspection if their unit will be “skipped” as part of the new biennial inspection process for landlords and tenants who meet all HQS guidelines upon first visit. Please note we may still schedule on an interim basis as well as annual basis when requested by a family or government official. Please contact us within 30 days of the skipped inspection notice.
Can SCHA assist me in advertising my available rental units?
Yes, all the resources listed here are provided free of charge.
SCHA has a listing book in their office for both applicants and current tenants to view hard copies of available rental units provided to us by property owners and managers. If you wish to provide a copy of your listing, please email SCHA at email@example.com or fax it to us at 712-224-5200.
You may also list your rental properties online at www.assistancecheck.com, www.iowahousingsearch.org and www.gosection8.com. Our website links directly to all three.
HCV Program applicants and tenants will be using the Assistancecheck website to check the status of their application and report changes. To utilize AssistanceCheck to list your properties, first you must register online at www.assistancecheck.com by ‘Creating A Property Owner Account’. SCHA will mail a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to participating property owners upon request or they may call 712-279-6348 to request a PIN.
Do applicants for the HCV Program have to move? I have a current tenant who isn’t on your program who just lost their job and will need help paying their rent.
No. Families may remain in their current rental unit when they apply for the HCV Program as long as it meets HQS, the contract rent is within the Program Guidelines, and the Tenant’s Share Of Rent doesn’t exceed 40% of their Adjusted Gross Income.
Do you have any tips for a successful HQS inspection?
Our current HQS inspectors have provided a list of some of the most common fail items encountered in performing initial inspections of units. Landlords and managers who have worked with us previously probably are aware of these items; landlords new to the program may find this useful as they prepare for our initial inspection of a unit.
Be sure all utilities (electricity, gas, water) are turned on by the time of our inspection.
Make sure all interior and exterior painted surfaces are free of deteriorated paint.
Install a handrail on any interior/exterior stairway that has more than 3 steps including the landing.
All smoke detectors must be installed and working. There must be at least one detector on every level of the unit, and these should be installed near bedrooms or sleeping areas.
All appliances must be clean and in good working order.
Ensure plumbing and electrical are up to City Code with cover plates on every electrical outlet and light switch.
The unit must be clean and in move-in condition and all repairs must have been completed.
Ensure all screens and windows are installed and free of defects.
Windows that are within 6 feet or less from the ground, steps, or porch must have a lock.
Ensure all exterior areas (roofs, gutters, foundations, steps, porches, refuse, and yard items, etc.) are free from hazards or conditions endangering health or safety.
Does the SCHA prequalify or screen families for tenancy?
When a family approaches an owner to apply for tenancy, the owner is responsible for screening the family and deciding whether to lease to the family, just as the owner would with any potential unassisted tenant. SCHA has no liability or responsibility to the owner or other persons for the family’s behavior or suitability for tenancy.
SCHA determines eligibility for rental assistance subsidy, reviewing household composition, income, and the applicant’s last 3 years of criminal history. The SCHA does conduct eligibility screening for their program, but by no means should you rely solely on their screening. You should conduct thorough tenant screenings on all of your tenants, including HCV tenants.Taking the time to properly screen tenants can help you prevent costly evictions and property damage.
SCHA is required to provide the landlord with the following information upon request:
The family's current and prior address (as shown in the SCHA records); and the name and address (if known to SCHA) of the landlord at the family's current and prior address.
How does SCHA determine if a rent is rent reasonable?
When approving the rent of a unit HUD requires us to compare the unit and the rent requested with other similar properties that are being rented on the private rental market. We conduct rent comparable surveys on a regular basis and update our records accordingly for unassisted registered rental properties not participating in the Housing Choice Voucher Program.
I have a potential tenant who wants to lease my unit, but doesn’t have funds for the first month’s security deposit. Can you help them?
Possibly, please refer them to their caseworker to complete an application for security deposit assistance.
If they are not currently eligible for rental assistance through the HCV Program, we have a CITY WIDE SECURITY DEPOSIT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM TO HELP ALL ELIGIBLE RENTERS!
If SCHA increases their Payment Standard, when will this be effective?
If the Payment Standard is increased by SCHA during the term of a current Housing Assistance Payment contract, the increased Payment Standard will be used to calculate the monthly housing assistance payment for the family beginning on the effective date of the family’s first annual reexamination on or after the effective date of the increase in the payment standard. The increased payment standard is effective for new admissions on or after the effective date of the increase.
If your current tenant is paying their rent, could they benefit from the HCV Program?
Yes! Families who have vouchers can continue to pay rent even if their hours are reduced or they lose a job. If a current tenant has limited income, they may be making choices to pay rent or purchase needed medications or reliable transportation to maintain their job.
What are the benefits to me for creating a Property Owner Account on the Assistancecheck.com website?
For your convenience, SCHA is now offering a secure, online service to allow you to contact us and make requests online rather than in person or by mail. Some of the services offered include:
Review Payments: Search And View Your Last 18 Months Of HAP Payments
View Scheduled Inspections And Results
List Your Available Rental Properties In Assistancecheck
Update Your Contact Information
What factors determine rents in the Housing Choice Voucher Program?
The rental subsidy depends on 4 factors: HUD established Fair Market Rents, Public Housing Authority established Payment Standards, the Voucher Size (number of bedrooms) the family is eligible for based on the Housing Authority’s subsidy standards, and family composition and income.
HUD publishes Fair Market Rents (FMRs) for each metropolitan area October 1st. Each local Housing Authority will then use the Fair Market Rent that HUD has set as a guide. SCHA will look at factors in their area such as, how long it takes an HCV family to locate housing, and will determine their Payment Standard, or the maximum amount they are able to pay for each bedroom size based on the annual budget HUD provides for the program. This Payment Standard will be between 90 and 110 percent of the Fair Market Rent.
Payment Standards are reviewed and set annually by the SCHA effective December 1st. Payment Standards for each bedroom size include both rent and a utility allowance.
The Voucher Size. A family’s household composition is reviewed and SCHA determines the appropriate voucher size (based on subsidy standards) and enters the family unit size on the voucher that is issued to the family. The family unit size of the voucher does not dictate the size of unit the family must actually lease, nor does it determine who within a household will share a bedroom/sleeping room. It only determines the level of rental subsidy the family is eligible for.
The Family’s Composition and Total Household Income is used to determine eligibility according to PHA guidelines.
What if the unit failed the annual HQS inspection due to a tenant deficiency/repair needed?
Please note since we are moving to biennial inspections, all Housing Quality Standards must be met at the first scheduled inspection time. Any deficiencies by tenant or owner will require an annual HQS inspection until unit passes on the first visit. This includes smoke detectors.
What is SCHA’s role when a tenant doesn’t pay their rent on time?
Participants in the Housing Choice Voucher Program are responsible to pay their portion of the rent each month directly to the landlord. Landlords who participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Program have a contractual obligation to collect the resident’s portion of the rent each month. Participants who fail to pay their rent are subject to termination of their rental assistance and a three year ban on program participation.
Here’s where we can work in partnership. If you have not received your rent from the program participant within the time-frame stated in the lease, send a late rent notice to the participant and a copy of the notice to our office. When the Sioux City Housing Authority receives the copy of your notice to the participant, we will send a warning notice to the participant reinforcing your right to collect their portion of the rent. We will also remind them of the program penalty if you evict for non-payment of rent. This will work only if you are willing to follow through with court action, as we cannot interfere with your management rights. Let us help you put your money in your pocket, where it belongs.
When can I request a rent increase?
You may request rent increases after the initial one year lease term ends. Where the owner is changing the amount of rent, the owner must notify the Housing Authority 60 days before any such changes go into effect [24 CFR 982.308(g)(4)]. Please provide of a copy of the proposed rent increase notice to both the SCHA and the tenant. SCHA will determine whether the requested increase is reasonable within 10 business days of receiving the request from the owner, according to the Housing Choice Voucher’s rent reasonableness standards. If the requested rent is not found to be reasonable, the owner must either reduce the requested rent increase, or give the family notice in accordance with the terms of the lease. Rent increases will go into effect on the first of the month following the 60 day period after the owner notifies SCHA of the rent change.
Why am I on the new biennial HQS inspection calendar?
If your unit passed the last inspection on the first visit, your unit will be inspected biennially (every 24 months) as long as it continues to pass on the first visit. Sioux City Housing Authority (SCHA) implemented this change with September, 2014, HQS scheduling, for every unit that passed their inspection last year in odd numbered census tracts in Sioux City. After the first year of implementation of our new policy (September, 2015), we will review units in all census tracts to see if they meet the guidelines for a biennial inspection.
Will I receive a notice from SCHA if I qualify for a biennial inspection and no inspection is scheduled this year?
Yes, SCHA will notify you if your unit requires an inspection, or if you will move to a biennial inspection based on the results of your last inspection. The SCHA’s goal is to support landlords and provide adequate notice of annual inspections so that you have time to take corrective actions if needed. Inspection notices are generally mailed out 45 days prior to inspection for landlords.
Meter Reading FAQ
Do I have to be present for the installation?
Yes, the City does require an adult be present during the service call, we will not enter your premises unless authorized to do so by someone present that is age 18 or older.
Does the Radio Read technology have any other benefits for me?
Yes, the Radio Read unit will let us be able to detect possible leaks in your plumbing faster and notify you of problems before they become serious and costly. Accuracy will improve and you’ll pay only for water you actually use each month, no estimates. In addition to speed and reliability we won’t have to enter your home except for periodic maintenance or replacement of system components when needed.
How do I make an appointment with the City to have the Radio Read installed?
Call City of Sioux City Customer Service at 712-279-6132, select Option 1, to schedule your Radio Read install appointment today!
How does Radio Read Automatic Meter Reading work?
The City installs a Radio Read Meter Interface Unit (MIU) equipped with a 20 year battery in your home or business. The Radio Read Unit is connected to your water meter; it reads the usage every 15 minutes and sends out a radio signal with the unique Radio Read ID and the read from the meter every 14 seconds. Once a month we drive through each neighborhood and our mobile equipment collects this data over the radio wave frequency, this read is then used for monthly billing.
How long does it take to install the Radio Read unit?
Installation will take approximately 20 minutes, depending on how easily we can access your water meter.
How much will the installation cost me?
There is no charge for the installation and it does not increase the cost of the City’s service to you. Automatic meter reading is designed to help control costs by increasing meter reading accuracy and efficiency.
What if I disagree with the reading provided by the Radio Read unit?
We will collect a new read from your meter with our mobile equipment and call you with the new information. You can still visually read your meter yourself. If you still disagree we will send a City Water Service Representative to your home or business to determine what may be wrong and correct any problems.
What if I need to change the date and time of my installation appointment?
If you have scheduled an appointment and find that you cannot be home at the scheduled time, no problem, call Customer Service at 712-279-6132, Option 1, to reschedule.
Can I put salt on my gravel road?
It is against the law to place salt on any dirt or gravel road.
Can I shovel snow from my sidewalk or driveway in to the street?
No person may deposit snow or ice from a private property on to a public highway, street, avenue, alley or park within the city.
How can I find out if there has been a snow emergency declared?
Once a snow emergency has been issued, information is posted on the city’s website and social media channels and shared with local television and radio stations for their broadcasts, websites and social media channels. You may also sign up for e-notifications (sign up here) and you will be notified by email - look under the "News" section for "Snow Alerts".
How long after a snow fall event do I have to clean my sidewalks?
Residents and business owners must remove snow and ice from public sidewalks within twelve (12) hours following a snow event. If snow or ice remains on any sidewalk for more than twenty-four (24) hours, the city may remove at the cost of the property owner. Chapter 17.24 Snow and Ice Removal
What does a snow flake sign mean?
The snow flake signs prohibit parking or leaving a vehicle unattended on City streets when two inches or greater snow fall occurs. These signs are those displayed with a blue background and a white snowflake indicating restrictions are in place to help aid snow plow drivers in clearing of the roads in an effort to enable the travel of emergency vehicles to the hospitals and heavily traveled routes.
Priority One Streets are shown in red on the City Priority One Streets Map (view map). They include emergency routes to hospitals, arterial streets, transit bus system routes that are major traffic carriers, and major business districts. Priority One streets will be cleared so that they are passable before moving to Priority Two and Priority Three streets.
When is a snow emergency declared?
When snow, freezing rain, sleet, snowdrifts, etc. create, or are likely to create, hazardous road conditions that will restrict emergency vehicles, a snow emergency may be declared. According to the Sioux City Snow and Ice Control Policy (pdf download), in the prediction of or the occurrence of a substantial snowfall event greater than 6 inches or concurrent snowfall events of two 4 inches or greater storms the Mayor, City Manager, or his/her designee may declare a snow emergency.
When will the snow emergency end?
When conditions improve so that a snow emergency is no longer necessary, the Mayor will terminate the snow emergency with the announcement shared on the city’s website, social media channels and local media outlets.
Where can I park during a snow emergency?
Vehicles may park on the even street numbered side of the street on even days of the month and on the odd street numbered side of the street on odd days of the month. If parking is only allowed on one side of the street, vehicles should follow the previous instructions only if parking is allowed on that side of the street. No parking is permitted on the side of the street where parking is prohibited.
Why are there piles of snow (wind rows) down the center of the downtown lanes of traffic?
Snowplows will move snow to the center lane of streets downtown (wind rows) to allow traffic to pass. Crews will remove the excess snow from the streets following the snow event.