Larry Goodell Has the Floor
Board chair reflects on an eventful year
In one word, this was a year of FIRSTS.
Some were visible, such as our first Affordable Housing Week in April of 2013. Mayoral proclamations supported our mission of providing safe, stable and affordable housing. Our first annual Design Challenge had over 50 high school students competing to design an affordable home for a fictional Des Moines family. In addition, DART’s co-sponsorship of the spring bus tour emphasized the importance of preserving and adding affordable housing units in close proximity to dependable public transportation.
Perhaps the most visible first was the “Can I Be Your Neighbor” campaign. Created to advocate for workers who hold important, but lower-wage jobs, this educational campaign was a first step in changing perceptions about the types of people who benefit from affordable housing (including the neighborhoods). Another first was the sponsorship of a Jazz in July event co-hosted by Waveland Park Neighborhood Association and the Waterbury Neighborhood Association. We will continue to expand on the “Can I Be Your Neighbor” campaign and our partnership with neighborhood associations in the coming year.
Not so visible, but having great, strategic impact on our work is a focus on information that captures the community’s needs for affordable housing. The Trust Fund commissioned reports to collect data and is sharing key findings through infographics and sophisticated mapping. A Community Housing Policy microsite was added to the website as a resource of statistical and demographic information both locally and statewide.
These new initiatives not only made for an exciting year, but also created an energy and momentum that truly demonstrate how the Polk County Housing Trust Fund is responding to a basic need with powerful solutions.
Thank you for your time, interest and support.
Larry Goodell is the outgoing Chair of the PCHTF Board. He is the Area Sales Manager of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.