Drake Interns Share Insights

Research Reviews Important Issues

Drake Interns Share Insights

My name is Tyler Pohlmeier.  This August I will be entering my second year at Drake Law School.  I am a native of Des Moines’ south side and attended Lincoln High School.  From there I went on to graduate from Iowa State University, with a degree in Political Science.  After finishing my first year at Drake Law School I was hired by the Polk County Housing Trust Fund as a research intern.  As a research intern for the PCHTF I research all issues related to housing; from affordable housing issues to homelessness, and their effects as they relate to Polk County. 

In my short time working for the PCHTF I have focused my research on three major areas: zoning issues, Continuums of Care, and senior housing issues.  My first research paper discussed the impact that zoning regulations have on affordable housing.  I found through my research that Des Moines has a major problem with the clustering of affordable housing, and this in turn is having a negative impact on the educational achievements of some Des Moines area children.

My next research papers dealt with Continuums of Care and the Columbus Model to combating homelessness.  The goal of these papers was to determine what the best practices to ending homelessness was, and determine if they could be implemented in the Des Moines area.  These research papers were important to me; as the newly formed Polk County Continuum of Care gets off the ground I wanted to provide quality research to help them be as successful as possible.  I look forward to continuing researching for the PCHTF.  It is important the community be as informed as possible if we want to strategically address affordable housing  in Polk County.

My name is Michelle Rasmussen and I am currently a law student at Drake University School of Law, and will begin my second year of the three year program this August.  I am originally from Idaho and received my undergraduate degree in criminal justice from Boise State University.   Since moving to Des Moines last summer, I have greatly enjoyed taking advantage of all this city has to offer.   I hope to use my legal education to better the lives of others and am happy to be starting here in Iowa.  As a research intern for the Polk County Housing Trust Fund, I work to gather and analyze the latest information and studies on affordable housing issues. 

My first research paper reviewed the most common negative public perceptions of affordable housing and methods by which housing advocates can overcome such "NIMBY" opposition.  Case studies from various states were included, analyzing housing advocate’s successes and failures when attempting to overcome local resistance to development.   As affordable housing advocates here seek to promote the needs of the disadvantaged, a crucial step in the development process will be to consider the perceptions of the surrounding community, and how they can dispel any misplaced fears or preconceived notions about affordable housing.  My future research papers will review issues related to children in affordable housing, "cost of living" analysis, and renovation patterns in affordable housing.