New Housing Solutions

Metro Home Improvement Program

New Housing Solutions

Ten cities in Polk County have joined together to offer a housing rehabilitation program for their citizens.  The cities of Altoona, Ankeny, Bondurant, Grimes, Johnston, Pleasant Hill, Polk City, Urbandale, West Des Moines, and Windsor Heights entered into a cooperative agreement to preserve the existing affordable housing stock in their communities.  Currently the cities, in cooperation, provide a program called the Metro Home Improvement Program (MHIP).  

The Program assists homeowners within the Polk County portions of these cities with housing repairs and correcting code violations.  The program has been in existence since 2005 in the original five western suburban communities and in 2007 expanded to ten communities.  Since 2005, the MHIP has assisted 169 households. 

To qualify for assistance from the Metro Home Improvement Program, the homeowner must meet all of the following requirements:

  • The property to be assisted must be located within the Polk County portion of the participating cities (Altoona, Ankeny, Clive, Grimes, Johnston, Pleasant Hill, Urbandale, West Des Moines, and Windsor Heights).
  • Proof of homeownership of the applicant must be provided. The property to be assisted must be the homeowner’s primary residence. 
  • Property taxes and/or mortgage payments must be current and paid-to-date and there cannot be any mechanics liens on the property to be assisted.
  • Income limits of the household must fall at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for Polk County.  Priority is given to households at 50% or less of the Area Median Income.
  • The assessed value of the property according the Polk County Assessor must be less than $160,185 (the average assessed value in Polk County).

The Metro Home Improvement Program can help with a number of eligible rehabilitation activities.  Basic structural repairs to walls, roofs, foundations, and floors can receive funding, as can repairs to electrical, plumbing, or heating systems.  The program can help with weatherization repairs, such as replacing insulation, windows, or siding.  It can also help homeowners make their homes handicap accessible by installing exterior ramps or replacing bathroom facilities. 

If you have questions or would like to request an application, please contact Christine Gordon or Kay Schoon in the Community and Economic Development Department of the City of West Des Moines at 515-273-0770.