Polk County provides City of West Des Moines $1Million for new housing initiatives for Historic West Des Moines

Published 6/23/2022 10:12:57 AM

Mayor Russ Trimble, Polk County Supervisor Angela Connolly and Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham will hold a news conference on Thursday, June 23, at 3:30 p.m. to announce new initiatives designed to spruce up homes, increase home ownership for low- and moderate-income Iowans and help with down payment assistance.

This effort will fund exterior home repairs, allow a transition from rental to owner-occupied properties and provide loans and grants to assist with the purchase of homes in the Historic West Des Moines area.

The announcement will be made at the Valley Junction Activity Center, 217 5t Street, in West Des Moines. Since 5th Street will be closed for the Farmers Market, attendees (including the media) are encouraged to park off 4th Street in the City parking lot directly behind the Activity Center.

Community and Economic Development Director Clyde Evans said a new public/private partnership will fund the creation of a Historic WDM Housing Fund to launch three separate efforts:

1) A Home Improvement Program that will provide a match up to $25,000 to homeowners to assist with exterior home repairs;

2) A Rental Acquisition Program that will allow single family rental units to transition to owner-occupied properties. The City of West Des Moines will purchase single family rental properties, then local nonprofits will renovate them and sell them to low-income homebuyers; and

3) A Down Payment Assistance Program that will provide loans and grants to assist in the purchase of homes. This program operates in a partnership with the Iowa Finance Authority’s homebuyers programs and the Neighborhood Finance Corporation’s down payment assistance program.

City and county leaders holding a ceremonial check
City of West Des Moines logo Polk County Iowa logo

Eligible properties must be located within the Historic West Des Moines area, which spans from 1st Street on the east, Railroad Avenue on the south and Grand Avenue on the north and west. Applications will be available for each program, beginning on July 1, 2022, at

Mayor Russ Trimble said this effort is a continuation of the work the City has been doing to revitalize and improve housing in West Des Moines.

“We recognize there are a lot of pieces to the housing puzzle,” he said. “It’s not a one size fits all solution, so we’re reaching out and enlisting partners to make things happen in Historic West Des Moines.”

As part of the public/private partnership, Polk County contributed $1 million to support the effort, and six financial institutions (West Bank, First National Bank, Bankers Trust, GreenState Foundation, Bank Iowa and Northwest Bank) contributed $620,000. The City will match these donations and fund the pilot programs for three years.

Trimble said officials anticipate the Historic WDM Housing Fund will make between $3 and $4 million available during the 3-year pilot program.

For more information, call the West Des Moines Community and Economic Development Department at (515) 273-0770.