Williams Bend project is part of an effort to create new housing

Williams Bend project is part of an effort to create new housing  Main Photo

1 Oct 2017

Bill Shea

When representatives of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance recently met with executives from a major company with a facility in the city, they heard something disappointing.

The executives said that they had eight people transferred into the local site in the 60 days preceding the meeting and all of them settled in Ames, nearly 70 miles away, because they couldn’t find a home in Fort Dodge.

That was disappointing, but not entirely surprising, according to Dennis Plautz, the chief executive officer of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance.

He said the executives of the company, which he declined to name, weren’t the first business leaders to point out the lack of housing in Fort Dodge. He said the subject comes up “all the time.”

Plautz said the city needs both “numbers and diversity of housing.”

“Right now, I believe the biggest threat to economic growth in Fort Dodge would be the ability to get a trained workforce,” he said. “That’s why quality of life is so important and housing is part of quality of life.”

Local bankers also see evidence of the housing shortage. At least some banks in Fort Dodge have customers that are pre-approved for a mortgage, but don’t actually have a mortgage because they can’t find a house to buy.

John Taets, president of Northwest Bank, said his institution has a “considerable amount of mortgage customers” who fall into that category.

He said there is a good demand for housing, but a low inventory of available homes.

Full article.

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