Affordable Housing Week

Join the Polk County Housing Trust Fund for the seventh annual Affordable Housing Week! Every year, PCHTF provides multiple no-cost opportunities to learn more about the need for safe, stable and affordable housing in our community. Simply put, a city thrives when there is #HousingForAll. 

Stop by one, or all, of these free events next month to learn about the past, present, and future of housing in Polk County.

We are proud to announce the addition of Undesign the Redline to Affordable Housing Week 2019! Undesign the Redline is an interactive exhibit connecting the intentional and systematic racial housing segregation of the 1930s to political and social issues of today, through the powerful narratives of the people and communities affected by redlining and its legacy. This exhibit has traveled to New York, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, and Boston, and we are so excited to bring it to Des Moines. 

Join us at Franklin Junior High for our Affordable Housing Week Symposium on Thursday, April 18th or before the Bus Tour on Friday, April 19th to take part in what will undoubtedly be a noteworthy and enlightening experience. The exhibit is free and will be open to the public from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM April 18th and 19th. 

Landlord Forum: Bias Basics for Better Housing

Monday, April 15th 8:30-11 AM

Monday, April 15th 8:30-11:00 AM

The Polk County Housing Trust Fund and its partners invite you to the seventh installment of their Landlord Forum event. This year's event will be focused on offering landlords and property managers with new strategies to overcome implicit bias and ensure equitable housing to all tenants.

Presentations will include:

  • Implicit bias training by Thomas Newkirk, local Civil Rights Attorney
  • Simulation of the Housing Interpretation Hotline by the Iowa International Center
  • A panel of local experts that will address barriers to fair housing and introduce tools to overcome those barriers
  • Presentation of resources and organizations that can help you and your tenants

The event is free and continental breakfast will be provided. Registration begins at 8 and the program will begin at 8:30. We hope to see you there!

Thanks to our partners OpportUNITYUnited Way of Central Iowa, and Capital Crossroads for helping us make this event free of charge to all participants.

NOTE: Conference Room 1/1A is located in the glass atrium on the right side of the River Place building. Enter the building through the doors by the DART stop or on the right side of the atrium.

Housing Equity - A Historical Look

Thursday, April 18th 9 AM-4 PM

Thursday, April 18, 9:00 AM-4:00 PM 

For the fifth year of our annual symposium, we’ll take a historical look at issues of housing equity in the Midwest. Keynote speakers Dan Vock and Brian Charles, staff writers at Governing magazine will talk about their research in Peoria and Springfield, Illinois. After a screening of Minnesota Public Television’s recent documentary, “Jim Crow of the North”, Dan and Brian will be joined by University of Minnesota professor Dr. Brittany Lewis for a panel discussion moderated by Arlinda McKeen.

Join us in the morning, afternoon, or all day! Free lunch with registration.

Schedule of events:

9:00 AM-4:00 PM: Undesign the Redline exhibit open to the public

10:00 AM: One Economy Report, Arlinda McKeen

10:15 AM: Keynote – Segregated in the Heartland, Dan Vock and Brian Charles

11:30 AM-12:00 PM: Lunch

12:00 PM: Introduction to Jim Crow of the North, Dr. Brittany Lewis

12:20 PM: Documentary screening – Jim Crow of the North

1:15-2:00 PM: Panel Discussion moderated by Arlinda McKeen

  • Participants: Dan Vock, Brian Charles, Dr. Brittany Lewis

Bus Tour: The Neighborhoods of Des Moines

Friday, April 19 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Ride the bus with us as we visit the many diverse neighborhoods that make up the City of Des Moines. Learn more about the history that has shaped this city in the 20th century and beyond.

Make sure to walk through the Undesign the Redline exhibit after the tour!

The bus will meet in the South Parking Lot of Franklin Junior High School, departing at 9:00 AM.

This event is AT CAPACITY. For details about this year's route, stay tuned to the PCHTF website or email 

Can I Be Your Neighbor Design Challenge

Saturday, April 20, 10:00-11:30 AM

We're partnering with ASK Studio and the Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines for the seventh year of the Can I Be Your Neighbor Design Challenge, a competition for high school design students. Join us at Grand View University's Krumm Centrum to see presentations from the finalists who have created the best affordable home designs and see who wins a scholarship from HOME Inc. and the Polk County Housing Trust Fund! Come check out the students' designs and hear finalists present their work at Grand View University's Krumm Centrum (1300 Morton Ave, Des Moines) and see who wins!

No RSVP required.