TIMES CITIZEN EDITORIAL300 dpi-Ellsworth inside

In 2014, the Iowa Falls business community sought hard numbers for a perceived problem. There seemed to be a shortage of certain kinds of housing in the area, so a housing study was commissioned.  The results came back with predictable answers.  There was a lack of mid-price-range single family homes and rental and senior housing.  And the problem was only going to worsen if the community didn’t take action.

With that information in hand, Iowa Falls leaders set out to find solutions.  Three years later, some of those solutions have put the Iowa Falls Area Development Corporation (IFADC) in finalist status for a Strong Communities Award through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines.

This summer, IFADC applied for the award by writing aIMG_9558bout the housing study and the efforts that have been made to better meet the local need.  The application cites the Ellsworth Neighborhood Investment Group efforts to convert the old Ellsworth Municipal Hospital into condominiums, and three downtown property owners who have worked together to convert upper stories of commercial buildings into apartments.  The application also notes that there are two more developers exploring the possibility of new housing.

In the span of four type-written pages, IFADC outlines work that’s taken three years and countless professionals to accomplish.  They’ve required local and state coordination, and while the projects will eventually make money for the developers, they haven’t been cheap or easy.  Still, the developers stuck with them.  They persevered  through hurdles and found ways around obstacles.  Their dedication will payoff for themselves, yes, but also for the community.   Thanks to their vision and willingness to take a chance, Iowa Falls will have beautiful – and, in some cases, affordable – housing.

If you want to support IFADC in its bid to win the Strong Communities Award, you should vote for its application next week (September 18-22).  Instructions on where and when to vote can be found at the bottom of this article.  IFADC is competing against rural projects in Minnesota, South Dakota and Oregon.  The winner will received $15,000 – an amount that IFADC would reinvest in the community.

But, whether the award is won or not, Iowa Falls is already winning. Our community is taking another progressive step toward meeting our residents  needs in unique and sustainable ways.IMG_2869

TO VOTE:  Go to www.fhlbdm.com/award or use the QR Code below. Vote each day from Sept 18-22 on every mobile device or computer you may have available.

QRCode Strong Communities Award Voting Page