Marty L. Stoll, attorney and senior vice president at Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, has been named chair of the Affordable Housing Commission for the City of Cedar Rapids, a group that was reinstated in June 2018 following a dormant period of about 20 years.
Marty’s commitment to affordable housing access is fueled by her memories as a child in the 1980s in Burlington, Iowa. Marty’s mother faced challenges to make ends meet as a single parent, taking on multiple part-time jobs in search of reliable full-time employment. The family owned a home near the public library, giving Marty and her older brother access to spend hours and hours reading and learning, taking advantage of everything the library had to offer. Marty didn’t know it as a child, but later realized that her mother would have struggled to keep the family in that home if it had not been for community support programs and flexible mortgage payments. Marty cites that home as the source of stability she needed to learn and grow as a child.
“I’m not aware that there were any apartments near the public library back then,” said Marty. “If it weren’t for all the people behind the scenes supporting our family and my mother, there’s no way she would have been able to afford to keep us in that house. Without that house and access to the library, I doubt I would be where I am today.”
Today, Marty is working to be one of those people advancing initiatives and organizations that advocate for and support low-income families and children so they may benefit from the many advantages associated with reliable housing.
“Housing has a tremendous impact on children in our community. Every kid deserves a safe place to call home with decent living conditions that allows for some consistency for their education. There were people that helped my family when I was a kid, and I owe the same to other families and children now.”
Marty has found passion in her work as an attorney in matters related to real estate law, especially when it comes to the issue of affordable housing for families and children. Recently, Marty led the team of Shuttleworth & Ingersoll attorneys that provided the legal work for Monroe Place, a development by the Affordable Housing Network (AHNI) that converted the vacant Monroe Elementary School, which was closed in 2012, into affordable market-rate housing in southeast Cedar Rapids.
Given her professional experience as an attorney and understanding of the importance of the issue, Marty is able to provide significant guidance and support through volunteerism and board service to partners in the community that support access to affordable housing. She has served on various committees and commissions for the city and the county related to planning and zoning. She is past board president and past director of the Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity, as well as past director of Habitat for Humanity of Iowa. She is currently serving as director and vice chair of AHNI as well as director of Four Oaks Family and Children’s Services. She also traveled on a service trip to El Salvador to build housing as part of an international program through Habitat for Humanity.
The Affordable Housing Commission was first created in 1991 and was dissolved sometime in the late 1990s after a change in funding left the commission with no money to distribute.
Cedar Rapids City Council has appointed 21-members to the newly-reinstated commission to ensure full representation from all four city quadrants as well as social service agencies and professional housing agencies committed to supporting affordable housing.
According to a resolution passed by city council, the commission will review the annual housing needs assessment, low-income tax credit applications, discuss opportunities to leverage resources, identify legislative issues regarding trends or barriers to access programs, and make recommendations to the city council.
A full list of newly-appointed commission members was published in the minutes from the council’s August 28 meeting.