Origin Homes, a homebuilder based out of West Des Moines, is one of the first homebuilders to sign on to build within Knoxville’s 152-acre Veteran’s District, Manning's Stadium View Pocket neighborhood and Gowrie's Wiley Addition thanks to the recent award of workforce housing tax credits earlier in August.
The credits allow Origin Homes to help these cities build workforce housing homes, aimed at bringing modest sized and priced homes to rural Iowa.
“Receiving these credits really opens the door for us to help achieve their workforce housing goals that each city set years ago through their housing readiness assessments and research. We’ve met one-on-one with industry leaders at individual major employers to best understand what their employees want in their future home and how affordability plays into their choice,” said Matt Daniels, Director of Origin Homes.
Origin Homes focuses on workforce housing, rural semi-and-fully custom homes as well as build on your land homebuilding. Origin is one of the only homebuilders that will operate in all 99 counties in Iowa and currently has two custom homes underway in Manning that will finish construction this year. In addition to the homebuilding efforts, Origin Homes has put an intense emphasis on reestablishing rural home choices by working with upwards of 20 communities in 2023 alone to determine housing needs, next steps, and homebuilding opportunities.
The homes are expected to start as early as this fall and will start in the $200's.
Read further for more details on each community and their specific plans alongside Origin Homes.
A new “pocket neighborhood” will anchor nearly 20 new homes for sale in Manning with the first five focused on affordable, workforce housing homes. Additional opportunities for traditional, single-family homes exist on the adjacent 16 traditional lots.
The Stadium View neighborhood is located on the southeast side of Manning, across from IKM-Manning High School and within a few miles of some of the largest manufacturers and businesses in the area. These new homes will be some of the first new spec homes on the market in Manning in two decades.
“Since 2000, only two new spec homes have been built and that was thanks to the Homes for Iowa program. Stadium View is the largest housing initiative in Manning’s recent history and it’s going to be a game-changer,” said Dawn Meyer, City Administrator for Manning. “This development will prove to the businesses looking to expand here that we’re serious about providing housing for their employees.”
Stadium View will have 16 traditional lots and 20-pocket-sized lots, which will feature the smaller footprint homes with 1,000-1,200 square feet. The Origin homes will have both slab-on-grade and a basement option and a handful of exterior options with fixed interior design selections.
“These pocket neighborhood homes are designed to have shared back yards, contracted maintenance and a size of the home that allows for more affordability and less responsibility for first time homebuyers, small families, people looking to downsize, and anyone looking to live in Manning,” said Meyer.
Per the city, major employers in Manning and surrounding areas include Ag Processing, Aspinwall Coop, Plastico, Puck Enterprises, Manning Regional Health Center, and Van Wall. Since 2020, all have made capital investments in Manning, but lack of workforce is threatening to thwart desired expansion efforts. Among all the businesses, plus new companies eyeing the area, up to 250 full-time, new-to-Manning jobs are on the line if workforce housing is not identified and created.
Per Manning’s Housing Readiness Assessment, a survey of housing provided by ISU Extension, Manning’s housing vacancy rate is 6.1%, significantly lower than other Carroll County cities, and the county’s rate of 9.1%. The census bureau also estimates at least 525 employees drive into Manning from outside city limits to work.
“Everyone who lives in rural Iowa knows this level of housing is a critical need. Manning is no different, but we’re trying to be,” said Meyer.
Origin’s homes are expected to start in the $270’s and infrastructure in the neighborhood is set to be complete by November. Home construction will start immediately following, weather pending.
The Veteran’s District, which was announced by the City of Knoxville and Marion County previously, is a repurpose to the former VA hospital grounds which closed in 2009. The neighborhood will have several residential neighborhoods plus a 3.5-acre Veteran’s Park that will be developed over the next 20 years.
“After hearing about the Veterans District and reaching out to Knoxville’s city leaders, we knew this would be a wonderful place to introduce our homes that focus on a more affordable price point while keeping our Origin quality while still offering our semi- and fully custom homes. There are so many key manufacturers who call Knoxville home, and their employees need to live in the place they work – so many rural communities across Iowa do not have that option due to the low housing inventory,” said Matt Daniels, Director of Operations for Origin Homes.
Origin’s homes will be around 1,300 square feet, with two beds, two baths, two car garages and will be alley-loading to fit the communities’ layout and landscaping plans. There will be three exterior options with a pre-selected set of interior options to choose from in each home.
“Workforce housing is a critical need in Knoxville. Weiler, 3M and Hormel, and many other businesses, have all expanded their operations since 2017, adding more than 250 jobs in the area. The Knoxville Hospital is also proposing a large expansion, and this will create a major need for workforce housing for nurses, EMS, welders and so many more. A much greater need than what already exists today,” said Glenn Lyons, Economic Development Director for the City of Knoxville.
“Major employers offer incentive programs to assist employees to relocate to Knoxville, but none of that matters if we don’t have a home they can afford,” said Lyons.
Per Knoxville’s Housing Readiness Assessment, a beneficial survey of housing provided by ISU Extension, Knoxville has a lack of homes between $125,000-$400,000 and a severe gap in housing for those earning $50,000.
Origin’s homes are expected to start in the upper $200’s and construction is slated to begin this fall.
The city of Gowrie is looking to expand their Wiley addition, an existing community development, alongside Origin Homes, a homebuilder based out of West Des Moines. The partnership was formed in part due to the recent award of workforce housing tax credits earlier in August, allowing Origin to expand their rural homebuilding efforts to provide workforce housing in various Iowa communities. The neighborhood has nine lots available, and Origin Homes plans to build five homes in the initial phase.
“Within the next 5 years, there may be over 400 direct new jobs created in the region thanks to expansions and growth efforts of area businesses,” said Gayle Streit, housing committee chairwoman for Gowrie Development Commission. “To continue to draw in a young, energetic workforce – which turns into vibrant community members and leaders – we need to create affordable housing.”
The Origin homes will be 1,200-1,500 square feet with two or three beds, two baths, two-car garages with options for a home with or without a basement.
“We’re extremely excited to begin building in Gowrie in a well-established housing development. The growth potential for Gowrie and the surrounding areas is undeniable and providing more homes within a reachable price point is our goal,” said Matt Daniels, Director of Operations for Origin Homes.
Origin Homes focuses on workforce housing, rural semi-and-fully custom homes as well as build on your land homebuilding. Origin is one of the only homebuilders that will operate in all 99 counties in Iowa and currently has homes underway in Manning, Lucas, Woodward, and will begin similar housing initiatives in Knoxville and Manning as well. In addition to the homebuilding efforts, Origin Homes has put an intense emphasis on reestablishing rural home choices by working with nearly 20 communities in 2023 alone to determine housing needs, next steps, and homebuilding opportunities.
“It was so encouraging to be approached by a homebuilder who is not only willing to travel to our community to build homes but also optimistic about the difference we can make in rural Iowa,” said Marcie Boerner, COO, Webster-Calhoun Cooperative Telephone Association. “Not many will travel outside of the 30-45 minutes of Des Moines which makes homebuilding even more difficult in rural Iowa.”