Fairfield Ledger
http://fairfield-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1222496

Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 18, 2014

Task force needs input on housing needs

Aug 06, 2014

A short online survey is available for residents to provide input on Fairfield’s housing needs.

The Fairfield Economic Development Association and the city of Fairfield’s housing task force are asking people living or working in Fairfield to participate in a short online survey, available at www.growfairfield.com/housingsurvey.

The two entities are trying to address the wide-range of housing challenges identified in the Housing Needs Assessment, which was completed by Area 15 Regional Planning Commission in February.

The Housing Needs Assessment revealed that many local employers are finding it difficult to recruit and retain top-level talent due to inadequate quality housing options. Additionally, the assessment suggested that Fairfield residents are, on average, more cost-burdened by housing than the rest of the state. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, households spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing are considered “cost burdened.”

Shifting demographics and a deteriorating housing stock are creating an emerging housing crisis in small cities across the state. As interior neighborhood buildings come down, it is increasingly difficult to encourage redevelopment in these locations. In recent years, new housing development has not kept pace with increased workforce demand caused by continued growth at Cambridge, Agri-Industrial and other major employers. Ten Fairfield housing starts were recorded in 2013 and seven so far in 2014. These figures include single family, modular/mobile homes, and multi-family structures.

The housing task force is identifying ways to ensure that the city of Fairfield offers affordable, resource intelligent, well-designed and well-built homes that blend into the small town, rural character of Fairfield. Completing the anonymous survey is a way for Fairfield residents to participate in setting a direction for the future of housing in Fairfield. It will help members of the task force better understand what residents think are the housing needs and priorities. The results will be reviewed along with model policies and housing incentive strategies in order to develop policy recommendations for city council.

Task force members include Jessica Ledger-Kalen, Adam Plagge, Tammy Dunbar, Aaron Kness, John Meyer, John Oleson, Dan Sullivan and Deb Cardin. A full copy of the housing needs assessment is available on the city’s website. The housing survey is available at www.growfairfield.com/housingsurvey.

For more information on this program, contact Anna Bruen, FEDA project coordinator, at 919-2692 or at annabruen@gmail.com.

 

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