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2023 HousingIowa Awards Recognize Innovative Iowa Housing Initiatives and Leaders


DES MOINES – The Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) recently recognized outstanding housing initiatives and leaders through the annual HousingIowa Awards at the 2023 HousingIowa Conference in Cedar Rapids. The HousingIowa Awards recognize outstanding programs, projects and professionals for leadership and innovation in advancing housing opportunities for Iowans.


The award categories include: Single-Family Development, Multifamily Development, Innovation, Special Needs Development, Legislative Friend of Housing, Kay Anderson Friend of Iowa and the inaugural Mark Sertterh Friend of Housing Award. HousingIowa Award nominations are accepted each year and an independent panel of judges determines the statewide award winners.


2023 HousingIowa Award Winners:


Single-Family Development

Anderson Creek Estates, Vinton
The Anderson Creek Development in Vinton is an exceptional example of innovative public-private partnerships between local employers, including the community’s largest employer, the hospital, which gifted the land, a committed and imaginative local bank, Cedar Valley Bank & Trust and a local government’s desire to create housing opportunity. The new development includes 29 new homes that are now home to ten teachers or school staff, two childcare providers, two banking employees, three local plumbing/HVAC employees, seven retirees, and fifteen new children for the school district. The development brought a total of 69 new residents and increased the local workforce by 23 individuals.

“As a first-time homeowner, my home in the Anderson Creek Estates represents not just bricks and mortar, but it has helped my family start the next chapter in Vinton,” said Tanner Davis.

“It has been the place where we welcomed our first child, it will be where he will take his first steps, utter his first words, and discover the wonders of life. It will be a sanctuary of love, warmth, and nurturing, where we will teach him about the values that matter most.”


Multifamily Development

District 42 Townhomes and Apartments, Sioux City  
The District 42 Townhomes and Apartments in Sioux City was recognized with the 2023 HousingIowa Multifamily Development Award. The project responds to a local workforce housing need and was developed by Sioux Falls-based Talon Development and built by Eagle Construction in cooperation with Sioux City Economic Development. The property includes 215-units on Sioux City’s Southeast side. The property officially opened in September 2021 and has remained at or near full occupancy since then, demonstrating a significant housing need.

“The creation of District 42 not only addresses the pressing need for affordable housing but also fosters a sense of unity among its residents,” said Jamie Birkeland, property manager. “Each resident contributes their unique skills and experiences to create a vibrant tapestry that makes District 42 a truly special place.”


Innovation Award
6th Ave. Flats, Des Moines
The 6th Avenue Flats was recognized with the 2023 HousingIowa Innovation Award. The project is a joint project between Hatch Development Group and Youth and Shelter Services (YSS) with a portion of the 42 apartments reserved for YSS youth who have been homeless and are in the foster care program. The unique cooperation between a housing developer, youth services agency and the Des Moines Area Community College, has a significant impact on identifying foster care youth who want to finish high school, obtain a training certificate or complete an Associate Arts degree.

“I heard about the new 6th Avenue Flats housing development from my case worker at YSS,” said Eden, resident of the 6th Ave. Flats. “I was hesitant after fending for myself for so many years, but I agreed to move in. This decision altered the course of my life, I’m now sober, going to school to become a CNA, I have a support system and hope for my future and it all started at the 6th Ave. Flats.”


Special Needs Development
Mosaic in Northen Iowa

Mosaic in Northern Iowa received the 2023 HousingIowa Special Needs Award for their Mosaic at Home services, which allows individuals with intellectual disabilities to share a host home with a provider. The host home allows the individual to be an active member of the household and the community. They also have a voice in where they choose to live and are provided services tailored to meet individual needs and goals, allowing people to be as independent as possible.

“My wife and I have provided a home for a young gentleman with intellectual disabilities for more than four years now,” said Pat McCormick of Cedar Rapids. “Jonathon went from having little structure and support to living in a stable and positive host home and I’m proud to say that he is thriving. This program has not only changed Jonathan’s life, but he has changed ours for the better as well.”


Legislative Friend of Housing

Senator Mark Lofgren 

Senator Lofgren received the 2023 Legislative Friend of Housing Award. Senator Lofgren has dedicated his professional career to real estate and knows first-hand the benefits of homeownership, including generational wealth creation and the positive economic impact of housing for all on our communities. In the Iowa Legislature, Senator Lofgren has tirelessly advocated for legislation and statewide innovative solutions to ensure that all Iowans have access to a home that they can afford.


Kay Anderson Friend of Iowa

Michelle Spohnheimer

Michelle Spohnheimer received the 2023 Kay Anderson Friend of Iowa Award in recognition of her outstanding leadership across various aspects of housing and has achieved remarkable accomplishments throughout her extensive 20-year career with the City of Marshalltown. She is a trusted partner many rely upon to help solve problems and enforce a variety of rules with grace and kindness. She is respected by many leaders and organizations in the community for her years of work and dedication.


Mark Sertterh Friend of Housing Award

The state of Iowa has suffered a profound loss with the untimely passing of Mark Sertterh, a revered figure in the housing services community. Mark held the role of Associate Executive Director at Shelter House in Iowa City. He was not only a long-time partner and friend of IFA, but also a beacon of dedication and compassion. The inaugural award was presented to Mark’s wife, Jennie, and their two sons, Jaryn and Riley, in Mark’s memory. The award will be bestowed annually upon an individual that exemplifies the same level of dedication, empathy and innovation that Mark brought to the forefront.



Award project videos and photos are available on the Iowa Finance Authority’s facebook page.


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September 13, 2023