Media & Community Advisory - Trust Fund Releases Housing Investment Results

Data shows struggling, working families

Media & Community Advisory - Trust Fund Releases Housing Investment Results

(Des Moines, IA - September 4, 2012) The Polk County Housing Trust Fund, whose role is to provide comprehensive planning, advocacy and funding for safe, stable and affordable housing released two reports detailing its fiscal year 2012 (7/1/11 - 6/30/12) results today.

The first report measures, assesses and communicates the impact of programs funded by Operating and Supportive Services dollars allocated by the PCHTF. A second report, of Unit Development Results, provides a view of how we are doing as a community in retaining and adding affordable units.

While the total number of individuals served by PCHTF Operating and Supportive Service allocations increased from 2,901 to 2,986, there was a noticeable shift in the profile of those receiving assistance. The profile includes a marked increase in clients who reported having some form of income.  Additionally, a larger percentage of clients served were in the higher income range of 30-50% of area median income.

"This indicates to me that the prolonged economic downturn is taking its toll on working individuals and families who have exhausted their savings and the good will of friends and relatives," said Eric Burmeister, Executive Director of the PCHTF. "Those folks are now seeking help from the community in maintaining safe, stable and affordable housing. They will likely continue to need that help until the job market and related economy improves."

More business and community leaders are ensuring housing is represented at key community planning and economic development discussions. One of those leaders and PCHTF donor is the Principal Financial Group Foundation, whose President, Mary O'Keefe, is also a member of the Homeless Coordinating Council.

“The key to engaging the entire community in our efforts to provide safe and affordable housing is
measurement.  This report is a great example of the value the Polk County Housing Trust Fund can bring to generate support for affordable housing, especially as the sluggish job market continues to displace more people from stable housing,” shared O’Keefe."Reports like this help share what is both measurable and meaningful."

Highlights from Programs funded by Operating and Supportive Service dollars made it possible to serve:

  • 944      households including 1,655 children and 1,331 adults
  • 821      households whose incomes were less than 50% Median Family Income (MFI)
  • 398      households whose incomes were less than 30% MFI; 423 were between 31-50% MFI; and 106 earned 51-80% MFI
  • 512      households whose residents were stabilized for more than one year
  • 510      female-headed households
  • 40        families that were able to become homeowners
  • 782      families that were employed or received Social Security, SSDI or SSI benefits
  • 84        families that were homeless before entering into one of the programs

Last year the PCHTF helped fund the creation of 84 new units of affordable housing. Of those, 14 units were single family rental housing. "This addition to the affordable rental housing inventory begins to fill a gap that has existed for more than a decade," said Eric Burmeister of the PCHTF. We have consistently added to the inventory of our multi-family rental units but not added nearly enough rental units of larger, detached homes for extended families or those with multiple children. The Trust Fund is pleased to be a part of encouraging and funding work to fill this gap." In addition, to the new units added the PCHTF helped fund work to repair and maintain 420 units of existing affordable housing inventory in the metro area.


The Polk County Housing Trust Fund is the comprehensive planning, advocacy and funding organization for Affordable Housing in Polk County Iowa. Founded 16 years ago the Trust Fund is responsible for allocating state and local funds aimed at increasing and preserving the inventory of affordable units in the County. It is also responsible for conducting a local Combined Campaign for Housing to fund non-profit providers that assist low income persons in obtaining and retaining those affordable housing units. This enables the PCHTF to create and sustain a broad and integrated vision for affordable housing inventory and the Supportive Services necessary to maximize the impact of that inventory. To learn more, please visit

Detailed reports on FY 2012 activities can be obtained by contacting the Polk County Housing Trust Fund.


Eric Burmeister, Executive Director
Polk County Housing Trust Fund
(515) 282-3233