Information and recommendations from the Community Housing Assessment Team (CHAT) project conducted in Winneshiek County in early November will be reviewed Wednesday, Jan. 8, in Decorah.

Project leader Marty Shukert of RDG Planning & Design will discuss the CHAT study from 4:30-6 p.m. at Decorah City Hall. The public is encouraged to attend the session.

Shukert visited the area in November and conducted focus-group sessions in Decorah and Calmar during his visit. He also toured housing sites throughout the county and has compiled extensive demographic information about Winneshiek County.

RDG Planning & Design has conducted CHAT studies throughout the Upper Midwest since the mid-1990s. The Omaha firm was hired by Winneshiek County Development Inc. to assist with recommendations on improving the overall stock of all types of housing in the county.

WCDI received financial assistance with the project from the city of Decorah, Winneshiek County, Decorah Jobs, Black Hills Energy, Viking State Bank and Aase Haugen Home.

Leaders in several Iowa communities that had conducted CHAT studies in recent years were contacted before the decision to hire RDG was made in late summer, according to WCDI Development Director Randy Uhl.

"We were told by all who had been contacted that the CHAT study will provide clarity about how to best tackle our countywide issues," Uhl said. "Every leader in the communities contacted said they would certainly undergo the CHAT study again."

More information about the CHAT session at Decorah City Hall can be obtained by calling Uhl at 382-6061 or e-mailing at