MASON CITY — The City Council in Mason City last night approved sending out requests for proposals to do a housing market study for the community. The city and the North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation have received inquiries over the last few years from housing developers regarding the city’s housing market and the availability of different types of housing. Potential employers looking at the market also consider the availability of quality housing to serve their expected workforce, as well as existing companies expect their employees to have housing choices that fit their incomes and lifestyles. City Administrator Aaron Burnett says the reason the study was not included in the budget process for the just-started fiscal year was the city has been waiting for the state to do such a study. “The reason that it wasn’t brought forward honestly last year was because the state was toying with the idea of funding the housing studies for every county in the state of Iowa through the Empower Rural Iowa initiative. They decided not to do that. I think that this is information that’s critical to continuing to take smart policy decisions with relation to housing within the city of Mason City.” Burnett says studies like this help the city make good policy decisions for the future. “Right now we try and pull those levers to make sure that we’re doing the right thing within the community to continue to grow that spectrum of housing within our community, but the reality is we’re flying a little bit blind in that respect because we don’t have that data to really make those good policy decisions.”The cost of the study is estimated at $40,000 and would take about six months to complete. Proposals will be due on September 3rd, with the council to review the RFPs at their October 6th meeting.