A monthly publication of COVID-19 resources for Iowans from
Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development
FROM THE DIRECTOR
As 2020 winds down (thankfully!) we thought it would be a good time to create a special thematic issue of Community Matters Now that focuses on an issue critical to the economic health and well-being of rural Iowa. We chose rural housing because it is a topic in which we are deeply engaged.
Our Rural Housing Readiness Assessments (RHRA) have been concluded or are in process in a number of communities across the state. You can read about our RHRA in Issues 3 and Issue 6.
In the truest meaning of “community engagement,” when we do things, we learn things. The learning and problem-solving that take place during a program such as RHRA is a two-way street. We gain a little deeper understanding of the rural housing challenge every time we conduct an RHRA session, and with every conversation we have with local housing committees and other stakeholders. In some cases, it has prompted us to dig deeper into data, causes, effects, or other issues that weren’t apparent to us when we started this program. Things that have made us go, “Hmmm.”
In this issue we are sharing three articles that fit that description. We don’t assert that we have all the answers; however, our search for the right questions incrementally leads us to a place where we are better able to respond to communities with solutions that better fit their needs.
Program Director, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development