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IHFA’s new board member discusses affordable housing, economic development


Boise attorney Scot Ludwig is the newest member of the Idaho Housing and Finance Association board of commissioners. Ludwig has extensive experience in local government, law, real estate and business. His past service as a member of the Boise City Council and the Capital City Development Corporation underscore his commitment to providing affordable housing and economic development opportunities in Idaho’s growing communities. Here are some of Ludwig’s thoughts about his new role at IHFA.

QUESTION: You founded a prominent law practice in Boise 26 years ago yet you still find the time to serve your community. What is it that draws you to public service?

ANSWER: “It’s a privilege to give something back to the community that has given me so much. I’ve been in Boise for 40 years and have been provided everything I have – my career, my health, my friends, my family, my education. So, having an opportunity to serve the public is something I think people should do if they’re vested in the community and have an opportunity to give something back. It’s a good time in my career to do that.”

Scot Ludwig

 

Q: How do you feel your other experiences prepare you for your role on Idaho Housing’s board?

A: “I think the experiences I had on the Boise City Council and CCDC gave me an enlightened view of how housing works, how bonding works, how government works and the role Idaho Housing and Finance can have in all of the above in providing services and housing to those who are more vulnerable. My real estate development has given me an opportunity to understand how the pieces in private enterprise work in developing projects, including housing.”

Q: From your perspective, what are some of the challenges Idaho faces when it comes to affordable housing?

A: “I think you just said the key word: affordability. We have communities that have rising property costs and somewhat stagnant wages. Of course, Idaho Housing and Finance can’t create upward pressure on wages, but it certainly can hit that niche of promoting affordability.”

Q: How do you think Idaho in general, and specifically Idaho Housing, are positioned to meet those challenges?

A: “Idaho Housing and Finance has great leadership. There’s a lot of knowledge [on its staff] that can create opportunities throughout the state. From the metropolitan area of Boise all the way to the rural areas, Idaho Housing and Finance is suited to meet a lot of different needs at different levels and different demographics. We have such a diverse state here and Idaho Housing and Finance is structured to be adaptable to the different needs for housing. IHFA can be in Downtown Boise or it can be in Soda Springs and adapt to the different needs of those different communities.”

Q: As you know, Idaho Housing is involved in a wide range of activities throughout the state – from financing affordable housing and supporting homelessness prevention to promoting home ownership. What do you see as Idaho Housing’s primary mission throughout the state?

A: “Well, of course housing. But in addition to that, Idaho Housing and Finance plays a big role in economic development. That’s important, too. It provides opportunities for construction projects, financing and ownership. All of those things feed the economic development vehicle that we need to continue to support. So it’s not just a housing entity, it’s a real economic development tool in Idaho.”

Q: Anything else you would like to add?

A: “I am excited to really dig deep into how IHFA supports not only housing, but economic development so I can maybe help develop creative ways to do both. I mean, IHFA provides bonding for highways. What about supporting a transportation system, for example? What if there’s a transportation system in Idaho different than highways that IHFA’s firepower can benefit? … I think that this organization has opportunities that can be tapped into that can really benefit Idaho in ways it might not have conventionally done so before.”