A single family house.

Learn about housing issues in Greater Des Moines

In Polk County, households with the fewest resources face the toughest search for a place to live. We're here to help change that.

An increasing number of low- and moderate-income people living in Greater Des Moines are struggling to afford the rent, let alone realize the dream of owning a home.  In our region, people earning under $20,000/year find themselves in the housing danger zone. They may not be able to afford a place at all.

The largest share of people struggling to afford the place they live are in the labor force. Many were celebrated as "essential workers" during the pandemic, but do not earn enough money to comfortably live near their jobs. Many are seniors and people with disabilities. All of these people face painful choices when high housing costs claim funds otherwise needed for health care, education, transportation, and more.

$17.98/hour

is the wage a person needs to earn in the Des Moines-West Des Moines metro area to afford a typical 2 bedroom apartment.

Just 42 homes

are affordable and available for every 100 extremely low income households in Iowa.

Community resources

We've gathered a list of people to help those facing common housing situations as well as other community resources.

Visit our reading room

Dig deeper on data and analysis about the need for housing and solutions in our region.

What does "AMI" mean?

Housing providers often speak about Area Median Income (AMI) when describing affordability. Download our chart to see how these percentages translate into real family incomes.

Explore the challenges
& build momentum for solutions