Winneshiek County in need of affordable housing, survey shows


There is not enough affordable housing in the Winneshiek County area, according to a survey conducted by Winneshiek County Development Inc. (WCDI) and Decorah Jobs.

City Manager Chad Bird reported the findings earlier this month. The preliminary housing study was conducted in consideration of whether to offer a tax-abatement program, according to a press release. The Decorah City Council approved a tax abatement in late 2014 that provided abatement for five years to homeowners who improve their property by 10 percent of its value.

A conference, which was led by Stephanie Fromm, executive director of WCDI, Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission (UERPC) and Northeast Iowa Community College, was held to discuss the issue of affordable housing.

Fromm applied for grants through WCDI to pay for the study, according to the release.

“It was perfect timing for us – we can compare the results of one study to the other," Bird said of the study.

The council is seeking residential input through June 30. To contribute to the survey, visit

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Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce Northeast Iowa Community College

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