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Welcome Home, Iowa Community Toolkit

Diverse housing options in our communities enhance the strength and prosperity of our economy so all Iowans can thrive.

As we roll out the welcome mat across the state to ensure Iowans can live where they work, it’s critical to educate stakeholder groups across the state about the importance of this initiative. While each relationship has its own nuances, effective conversations depend on a bit of preparation. Assemble some baseline thoughts and be ready to authentically engage with audiences, no matter where the discussion goes. Below are some reminders and talking points when speaking with stakeholders, as well as some thought starters for meaningful conversation.

1.  Always start with “why.” There’s a reason you have adopted your vision, your mission, your commitment to housing in Iowa. Clearly define that and look for ways that your “why” aligns with the “why” of the person or group you’re speaking with.


2.  Let the “Why, Therefore, So That” formula be your guide. Nearly all communications – whether advertisements, opinion pieces or direct mailers – are best organized according to this simple formula. It brings simplicity and structure to your messaging, and it will ensure you spend more time focused on the why.

“Why, Therefore, So That …”

WHY: Create the need by exposing or acknowledging the situation or problem.

THEREFORE: Present the solution as a direct outcome of the problem.

SO THAT: Deliver the benefits to affirm the solution and offer a call to action.

3.  Keep it simple. Simple words are easier to remember. Simple words also keep your audience engaged; your audience can follow along and will actually hear what you have to say.


4.  Localize it!  Use the Iowa Finance Authority’s Iowa profile tool to include persuasive statistics for the area. Please note that custom reports are available for every city in the state, some data points are only available at the county or regional level. Please contact IFA with any questions on how to access the correct report.

Example Statements from data you can find with the Iowa Profile tool:

  • Housing demand forecasts (The region is forecasted to need an additional xxx housing units by 2030).
  • Housing cost burdened  (xx% of renters and x% of homeowners in the region are housing cost burdened).
  • Housing problems by income, race and tenure (xx% of black residents are housing cost burdened compared to xx% of white residents).
  • Age of housing stock (xx% of housing units built before 1978, causing lead-based paint and other safety risks).
  • Vacancy rates (The region has a vacancy rate of x%, which compares to a vacancy rate of 4.8% for the State of Iowa).
  • Population trends
  • Net Migration trends
  • Average commute times
  • Poverty rates