Fall Bus Tour Goes West
Suburban housing needs addressed in October tour
The last PCHTF Bus Tour of 2013 headed west to tour affordable housing in the metro's western suburbs. Developments in Urbandale, Johnston, Grimes and West Des Moines were highlighted.
Along with a look at affordable options, the PCHTF offered a look at some sobering data. Broadly stated, it is much more difficult for a low-income household to locate suitable, affordable housing in the suburbs than in the city of Des Moines. Reasons for this, from high priced land to inhospitable zoning regulations and residential building requirements can be the subject of robust debate. What is clear is that those lower income households that choose to live outside the City of Des Moines are paying a dangerously large portion of their total income just for rent.
It is also clear that many folks working minimum wage jobs in the retail and service sectors of the suburban economies are shut out of living near their jobs. Clusters of jobs that pay less than $15,000 per year are concentrated in close proximity to malls and “restaurant rows.” Not nearly enough affordable units exist in those same areas to house the workforce concentrated there.
The Polk County Housing Trust Fund will continue to work to balance the affordable housing inventory across the county. Special effort will be aimed at identified low wage job centers. Reducing travel time and costs for workers enhances their quality of life as well as workforce stability and availability.
Click HERE to see the itinerary for our fall tour, or click HERE to read a summary of the data found in the Des Moines Business Record. Pictures from the tour can be found HERE via the PCHTF Facebook page.