Muscatine is one of 11 communities throughout Iowa that have been chosen to receive the 2024 Iowa Thriving Communities designation by the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) and the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA). The award recognizes the commitment Muscatine has made to attract housing opportunities for Muscatine’s workforce.
“Receiving the inaugural Thriving Community Designation further deepens our on-going partnership with IFA and IEDA,” Jodi Royal-Goodwin, Community Development Director, said. “Escalating costs have made workforce housing development less financially viable, so Workforce Housing Tax Credits are highly sought after and competitive. Receiving this designation will provide the opportunity for local development partners to be extremely competitive for this financial incentive when they choose Muscatine over other Iowa communities for their next housing project.”
It’s no secret that housing is the start for upward economic opportunity and that families, communities and businesses will thrive when all Iowans have access to homes they can afford.
Meeting the housing demands of our robust economy is going to require a strategic, proactive and innovative effort, including from Iowa communities and employers to ensure that all Iowans can afford and have the opportunity to live in the communities where they work.
This is why the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) and Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) introduced the Iowa Thriving Communities designation to elevate best practices from communities that are going above and beyond to leverage innovative methods to attract housing opportunities for their workforce.
“Escalating costs have made workforce housing development less financially viable, so Workforce Housing Tax Credits are highly sought after and competitive,” Royal-Goodwin said. “Receiving this designation will provide the opportunity for local development partners to be extremely competitive for this financial incentive when they choose Muscatine over other Iowa communities for their next housing project.”
Dozens of Iowa communities completed in an intensive application process to be designated as an Iowa Thriving Community and 11 have been awarded the prestigious designation. Iowa Thriving Communities will serve as models for other communities on both a statewide and national level in attracting housing development for all income levels.
Being designated as a Thriving Community will allow Muscatine’s development partners to access highly sought scoring points for the Workforce Housing Tax Credit program through 2024. The extra points awarded to a development through the Iowa Thriving Communities designation increase the likelihood that a project may be awarded credits supporting the viability of much needed workforce housing.
This designation is recognition of the innovative and collaborative housing and community development work going on in Muscatine, which was demonstrated by the partners who participated in the interview portion of the competition. Those partners included Rich Dwyer, Senior Vice President of Kent Corporation, Brandon Bullock, President of HON, Dr. Naomi DeWinter, President of Muscatine Community College and Acting Chancellor of Eastern Iowa Community College, Charla Schafer, President of the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine, and Dr. Brad Bark, Executive Director of the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Mayor of the City of Muscatine.
“This participation is a vivid demonstration of the intersectional importance of advancing housing across our community, and the cross-sector work that is underway,” Royal-Goodwin said.
More information can be found at the Welcome Home Iowa website.