Pioneering Change: Joy Luedtke's Impact on the Future of Housing

"I see people priced out of the market, families not being able to get out of rentals and get into homes, my children can't afford homes in my community. And we're ready emotionally; we're ready to take action on making a difference, making a change."

Joy Luedtke, Founder and CEO, First Wave Development

In this interview between Amy Scruggs and Joy Luedtke, the founder and CEO of First Wave Development, Joy discusses the company's innovative approach to affordable housing. Joy begins by explaining her decade-long interest in development and affordable housing, driven by a desire to find sustainable solutions for her community. She recognized the challenges families faced being priced out of the market and decided to take action.

Joy outlines First Wave Development's unique approach, incorporating advanced technologies. The company focuses on redefining the concept of affordable housing challenging the stigma associated with it. Joy emphasizes the need for solutions that people can love, take pride in, and feel connected to, addressing the changing landscape of mobile home communities in the United States.

The technology behind First Wave Development's homes is detailed, with a critical partner, ZS2 Technologies, utilizing magnesium oxide cement that absorbs carbon and lowers the carbon footprint. The company also collaborates with a leading interiors company, DIRTT, to implement Quick Connect utilities, rethinking how utilities are integrated into homes with a focus on sustainability.

The conversation touches on various aspects of the development, including using flat-pack shipping, panelized systems, and quick-connect utilities to address common issues the modular housing industry faces. Joy emphasizes the company's dedication to designing aesthetically pleasing homes that defy the stereotype of affordable housing, promoting a sense of pride among homeowners.

The interview delves into the wellness aspect of the homes, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on indoor-outdoor living and materials that don't off-gas harmful substances. First Wave Development is one of the first companies to pursue residential certification for wellness from the WELL Building Institute, reinforcing its commitment to creating homes that promote physical and mental well-being.

Joy envisions these homes utilized as individual residences and as part of communities, challenging the traditional notions of manufactured home parks. She believes in providing stepping stones for individuals and families to build equity and attain homeownership, even if they don't initially own the land.

The interview concludes with Joy expressing excitement about bringing solutions to people, partnering with environmentally conscious companies, and being at the forefront of a new way of approaching residential development. The overarching goal is to change the conversation around housing, making it more accessible, sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing.

About Amy Scruggs: TV Host, Media Coach, Author, Recording Artist 

In 2012, Amy decided to reenter the business world, specializing in Business Development and Media Coaching for Executives.  She spent the past 5 years as the “Voice and Face” of Mutual of Omaha Mortgage, where she wrote, directed, and hosted a national digital marketing campaign. She was the in-house Media Coach for senior company executives and top sales performers. She also hosted the national TV show "Financing the American Dream" on CNBC during that time.  Her other hosting and producing credits include the TV shows The American Dream, Lifestyles San Diego, Veterans One, and the Retiring Right Show. In 2021, Amy received "Bestseller" with her book Lights Camera Action, along with Podmatch Guest Mastery in 2022 as a contributing author.

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