Fort Dodge companies’ employee rosters include many people who do not live in Fort Dodge or Webster County. There are many reasons why people may choose to live elsewhere, but at least some of these people live out of town simply because they cannot find housing in Fort Dodge.

Fort Dodge needs more housing. He has needed more housing for years, in fact.

Real estate professionals and bankers have tangible proof of this housing need.

At Monday’s city council meeting, Troy Anderson, president of Coldwell Banker Associated Realtors, reported that there were 26 homes on the Fort Dodge market that day. He said 15 years ago there were 250 homes on the market at any given time.

Also during that meeting, Councilor Dave Flattery, who is the president of local bank Availa, said his bank had 33 customers who qualified for a mortgage but didn’t simply because they can’t find a house to buy. We suspect every banker in town can report similar stats.

The good news is that housing is once again becoming a priority for local leaders. At its meeting on Monday, the council decided to support two new housing initiatives. One would result in homes and condos near the Fort Dodge Country Club golf course; the other would be townhouses on the southern outskirts of downtown.

It is clear that Fort Dodge needs housing of all kinds. If the municipal government can encourage the construction of new housing without reducing services or imposing more expense on taxpayers, it should.

Having a good selection of housing is key to making Fort Dodge an attractive location for individuals and businesses. This should be a priority for local leaders.

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