PELLA — On a sunny Wednesday morning, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) made a visit to Pella for a National Home Builders Association Field Tour.

She traveled with Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), as well as American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall.

The visit was a part of a tour where the Representatives speak out against the Biden Administration’s recent decision to rescind the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule.

All three are members of the Congressional Western Caucus, and they’ve been publicly vocal about keeping the Navigable Waters Protection Rule.

The elected officials had the opportunity to take a tour around a home under construction while speaking with stakeholders on issues related to housing.

For Miller-Meeks, she said one of the most notable outcomes of the pandemic is it reinforced how communities can work together while living in small, rural areas.

According to the Des Moines Register, the population of Pella has increased by 1 percent. While more people live in the area, Miller-Meeks said it’s important for workers to have access towards more affordable homes.

“We continually hear that housing is an issue to bring in new workers,” Miller-Meeks said. “You can't expand your business if you don't have a workforce of people to fill those jobs.”

Besides attracting more employers, Miller-Meeks said more affordable housing in Pella will help keep younger people in Iowa.

“We want people to come here, we wouldn't be able to track the population of our state and we wouldn't be able to keep the young people that are here,” Miller-Meeks said. “They're not going to do that if they can't find a house that is suitable for them within the boundaries of what they’re looking for.”

Sarah Stortz can be reached at sstortz@oskyherald.com. Follow her on Twitter @sarah__stortz.

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