Greater IC and JCAHC Introduce a Rural Listening Post Series

Posted June 25, 2024
Lone Tree, Iowa Community Meeting

On June 21st, Greater Iowa City, Inc. (Greater IC) and the Johnson County Affordable Housing Coalition (JCAHC) hosted their inaugural Listening Post event in Lone Tree. The gathering, aimed at addressing housing and development in rural communities, was well-attended, reflecting the community’s vested interest in finding solutions. During the event, participants engaged in discussions and Q&A segments with representatives from Greater IC, JCAHC, the Housing Trust Fund, Habitat for Humanity, Eastern Iowa County of Governments (ECICOG), and Johnson County among others. The Listening Post provided a platform for residents to voice their concerns, share personal experiences, and offer insights into the challenges they face in securing affordable housing and doing business downtown. Residents voiced a need for ADA compliant sidewalks in front of local businesses and expressed interest in incorporating upper story housing above existing retail spaces.


The event was part of a broader effort by Greater IC and JCAHC to engage with the community directly and gather valuable feedback. Johnson County’s struggle with affordable housing is well-documented, with a recent report highlighting that approximately 55% of all renters in the county are considered housing cost burdened. This statistic underscores the urgency of the issue and the need for collaborative efforts to address the housing shortage, particularly for extremely low-income renters. Rural development in downtown districts can offer a variety of solutions, such as the infrastructure and housing solutions discussed by Lone Tree residents. The Listening Post initiative seeks to bridge the gap between policymakers, housing advocates, development directors, and the community. By fostering open dialogue, Greater IC and JCAHC aim to develop a comprehensive understanding of the local housing and development landscape and the specific needs of residents.


Greater IC and JCAHC plan to host additional Listening Posts throughout the county, each serving as a building block towards a more inclusive and equitable housing and development market. The collaboration between Greater IC and JCAHC, coupled with the active participation of the community, exemplifies the power of collective action. The Listening Post series hopes to ensure that every voice is heard, and everyone has the opportunity to call Johnson County home.


Thanks to Julie Chown of Ruhl & Ruhl Realtors for sponsoring the coffee provided by Snaggy Ridge Road Coffee Truck.

Rural Johnson County, Iowa discusses affordable housing