The Polk County Housing Trust Fund today announced a $75,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation.
The grant will be used for the Polk County Housing Trust Fund’s Stable Steady Strong initiative, which makes grants to local nonprofits that help people and families find safe, affordable housing. This year, 15 local not-for-profit organizations are providing services partially funded by Stable Steady Strong.
“Wells Fargo’s commitment to supporting housing stability for all our neighbors is commendable and its leadership is vitally important to galvanizing the region’s action to ensure every person and family has stable housing,” said Toby O’Berry, executive director of the Polk County Housing Trust Fund. “We are grateful for their support and partnership in helping people and families reach their goals and thrive,” he said.
For the year ending June 30, nonprofit programs funded through Stable Steady Strong helped 1,787 local households, including 500 who were homeless prior to entering the program. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Polk County currently needs an additional 11,635 rental housing units that are both affordable and available to extremely low-income renter households.
“Everyone should have a quality, affordable place to call home,” said Laura Howe, Iowa branch banking region executive, Wells Fargo. “As The Bank of Doing, Wells Fargo is working to increase access to housing in central Iowa for individuals historically shut out of the market.”
For more information, including how to support Stable Steady Strong visit pchtf.org/stablesteadystrong.
Updated: Sep 21
The Polk County Housing Trust Fund (PCHTF) has announced 2 new agreements totaling $3.1 million in allocations for affordable housing in Polk County using federal American Rescue Plan Act funds allocated to PCHTF by the Polk County Board of Supervisors.
Today’s announcement comes as community members gathered along Merle Hay Road on Des Moines’ north side to celebrate the groundbreaking of Monarch Apartments, a new permanent supportive housing community which is receiving $1.6 million in ARPA funding from PCHTF. Additionally, the Polk County Board of Supervisors allocated $1 million in ARPA funds to the project directly.
Polk County Supervisor Angela Connolly explained why the partnership to support Monarch Apartments is a win for the region. “Polk County is proud to lead the way on supporting the Monarch Apartments because it will combine critically needed housing units and evidence-based wrap around services to help homeless individuals make long term, positive changes in their lives. The ‘permanent supportive housing’ approach that Monarch uses offers a home first, and voluntary supportive services that empower residents to find their footing and reach their goals,” Supervisor Connolly said.
The 42-unit Monarch apartments will offer permanent supportive housing apartments in a converted hotel property. The property will offer rent-assisted units serving people experiencing homelessness who are referred by Centralized Intake which serves as Polk County’s entry point to homeless services.
Permanent supportive housing means that Monarch will follow housing first principles – where success for residents is measured as maintaining stable housing. Residents receive supportive services focused on harm reduction, trauma informed care, and strengths-based case management that connects them to other services and supports. Monarch Apartments will be staffed 24/7 and have two live-in peer support staff.
Ahead of today’s groundbreaking, Cynthia Latcham, president of Anawim Housing, summarized the impact Monarch Apartments will have. “Homelessness is a complex issue best solved with permanent supportive housing. For more than 25 years Anawim has been providing permanent supportive housing on a scattered site basis throughout Polk County. The Monarch Apartments will offer this critical intervention for people who have a history of homelessness by pairing housing with onsite evidence based services such as trauma informed care and motivational interviewing,” Latcham said.
Hawthorne Pointe apartments in Bondurant also to receive funds
Today, PCHTF also announced a recently completed ARPA funding agreement for Hawthorne Pointe, a new apartment community planned for Bondurant, Iowa. Developer Commonwealth Development Corporation of Middleton, Wisconsin, will receive $1.5 million to support that 40-apartment project.
Hawthorne Pointe will offer 1, 2, and 4 bedroom apartments and townhomes in Bondurant, Iowa, a rapidly growing community that has seen a large increase in nearby warehouse and logistics jobs offering wages that align well to support residents who will be able to live in this new apartment community. The property offers in-demand features like in-unit laundry and ample storage space as well as an on-site community room and playground. Apartments will be available primarily at 40% and 60% of the area median income with a few available at market rate. Occupancy is expected in mid-2024.
About this funding program
Funds PCHTF is allocating to this project come from Polk County’s landmark $15+ million allocation of American Rescue Plan Act funds announced in April 2022, which includes $12 million for housing development. This agreement brings the total allocated through this fund to $10.4 million committed to support 319 units of affordable housing at or below 60% of the area median income within properties that offer a total of 416 housing units.
Funds in this program are awarded through a competitive application process in which applications are reviewed by the Polk County Housing Trust Fund’s development committee and approved by its board of directors. PCHTF held a first round of applications in July of 2022, a second round of applications in September, and a third round of applications in February.
Investments from this fund are available to support rental housing affordable to people earning under 60% of the area median income, currently $63,350 for a family of four. The Trust Fund is placing additional prioritization on serving extremely low-income households earning at or under 30% of area median income, or $31,300 for a family of four. These income guidelines vary by number of people in the household and are updated annually by the federal government. (The 2023 annual update was released in May.)
The Polk County Housing Trust Fund (PCHTF) congratulates AHEPA Senior Living on celebrating the groundbreaking for their new AHEPA 192-IV community earlier today. The property will offer 90 senior apartments at 6705 SE 5th Street in Des Moines, next to Southridge Mall. PCHTF has committed $1.125 million of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to support the project.
“This project is a win-win for Des Moines. It continues to transform the area around Southridge Mall by adding additional housing, and it provides an outstanding opportunity for some of the most vulnerable seniors living in our community,” said Toby O’Berry, Executive Director of the Polk County Housing Trust Fund.
AHEPA management company is a non-profit developer of affordable senior housing across the United States founded in 1991. Like many others this organization manages, AHEPA 192-IV is part of the federal HUD 202 program, meaning the property serves extremely low income seniors age 62+. It will offer income-based rental assistance as well as a robust program of supportive services to assist residents with needs of daily living and provide social engagement.
The investment PCHTF has committed uses federal ARPA funds allocated to PCHTF by the Polk County Board of Supervisors in April 2022. Today’s announcement brings the total committed from this $12 million fund to $7.3 million to support 243 units of affordable housing at or below 60% of the area median income within properties that offer a total of 336 housing units.