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Sara Shonrock Brings Housing Expertise to Local Government Programming

April 16, 2019

For more than 40 years, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Office of State and Local Government Programs (OSLGP) has partnered with the Iowa League of Cities to offer the Municipal Professionals Institute (MPI) to city clerks, administrators, and finance officers from throughout the state of Iowa. 

The latest evolution in the collaboration between ISU Extension and Outreach and the League of Cities in the appointment of Sara Shonrock as MPI/MPA director in January 2019. Shonrock brings a different skill set to the position, with a background in community development and housing. 

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New Readiness Assessment Gives Rural Communities the Ability to Self-assess Housing Needs

For years, ISU Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development (CED) program staff have conducted housing needs assessments in Iowa’s communities, often in the wake of natural disasters such as the 2008 flooding in eastern Iowa and the 2011 tornado in Mapleton.

In 2019, CED created the Rural Housing Readiness Assessment, a tool that helps communities self-assess their housing needs and guides them in the decision-making process when addressing those needs.

Daniel Kuhlmann

Daniel Kuhlmann is an assistant professor of Community and Regional Planning. In his research, he focuses on issues related to housing and real estate development. 

Julie Robison

Julie Robison joined Iowa State University in October 2019; she splits her time between the College of Design's  Institute for Design Research and Outreach (IDRO) and ISU Community and Economic Development Extension & Outreach. 

Housing Planning Takes On A Virtual Twist

June 16, 2020

Neither rain, nor snow, nor heat, nor gloom of night, nor pandemic can stop community leaders from envisioning a better future for their communities – even if they have to do it virtually.

Community leaders in Ida Grove are learning about their community’s need for housing while also learning new uses for platforms such as Adobe Connect, Mural virtual strategic planning software, Google Docs, Qualtrics surveys and, of course, Zoom.

Ida Grove is the inaugural community for the Rural Housing Readiness Assessment (RHRA) program that Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Community Economic Development is providing through grants from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and their Empower Rural Iowa division.

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Rural Housing Readiness Assessment

The Rural Housing Readiness Assessment (RHRA) is a tool that helps communities self-assess their housing needs and guides them in the decision-making process when addressing those needs. It guides communities in considering options that ensure existing and potential residents are able to find safe, secure, and quality housing that meets their needs and fits within their budgets.

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