Abbie Gaffey

What do you do for ISU Community and Economic Development Extension and Outreach?

I work with communities on the Rural Housing Readiness Assessment program, conduct housing needs assessments, organize housing summits, and research housing issues and policies.

What is the best part of your job?

I enjoy working with enormously smart people who share a love for Iowa that inspires them to preserve our towns, our landscapes, and our tremendous quality of life. 

Name one fun thing about yourself that not many people know.

I express my love for my job with an Iowa State University license plate that spells out NRDVANA because I’ve done died and gone to Nerdvana!

What do you do in your spare time?

I read a shocking amount of books, hang out with my hilarious friends, make art destined for the garbage can, and Instant Pot a lot.

What is one thing you would like to accomplish in this position?

I’d like to teach more leaders about the importance of housing in their communities to make sure we have housing that is affordable for our workforce, accessible and safe for our seniors, and available for young families to start their lives in our communities.

How do you create a #StrongIowa?

I create a #StrongIowa by being a bridge between Iowa communities and the world of resources available to them through Iowa State University Extension & Outreach.

What have you been up to lately (in your job)?

I have been working on the Rural Housing Readiness Assessment program. This is a three-session workshop where local leaders evaluate their zoning codes, housing policies, available housing programs, and resources; consult with the public on the types of housing the community would like to see happen, and establish a strategic plan to improve or create new housing opportunities. I’ve also been working with a five-state collaborative to rewrite the Marketing Hometown America program curriculum. This program combines study circles and strategic planning designed to attract new residents to communities by marketing small towns as viable places to start new businesses, raise children, and eventually retire.