Pocket Neighborhood Provides Affordable Homeownership Opportunities for Rural Iowa

last updated on Thursday, May 9, 2024 in Affordable Housing

Member Profile

Maquoketa State Bank (MSB) is located at the heart of the community in rural Iowa. The bank opened its first location in Maquoketa in 1958, and currently has three additional locations. MSB is a full service community bank, but they are "entrenched into the heart of the community workings," according to Matt Tranel, first vice president and manager of real estate landing. 

Challenge and Opportunity

With a population of around 6,500, Maquoketa is a community that has limited ability to provide affordable housing options. The East Central Intergovernmental Association (ECIA) approached Maquoketa State Bank with the idea to develop a pocket neighborhood and partner on an Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant application. This was the first time MSB had supported an AHP project. 

A pocket neighborhood is a planned community that consists of a group of smaller residences that are often built surrounding a courtyard or garden. They are designed to create the sense of a close-knit community. 

This project aimed to offer affordable housing to first-time homebuyers in the area and those who are wanting to downsize to a smaller home. 

Ariel view of the neighborhood and courtyard.


This project received a $200,000 FHLB Des Moines AHP grant, along with other grant funding sources, helping to reduce the purchase price of the homes in the pocket neighborhood. The homes were completed in 2022 resulting in 10 three-bedroom, two-bathroom homes. All of the homes share a common courtyard and are made available to those who are at or below 80% Area Median Income. 

Front yard view of one of the homes.


  1. Affordable Housing Program