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.
The Polk County Housing Trust Fund (PCHTF) has announced its next two completed agreements for affordable housing investment using federal American Rescue Plan Act funds allocated to PCHTF by the Polk County Board of Supervisors. These agreements, which were completed in the 1st quarter of 2023, total just over $890,000. This, along with contracts PCHTF announced in January, now tally $6.2 million committed to support 153 units of affordable housing at or below 60% of the area median income within properties that offer a total of 246 housing units.
Polk County’s landmark $15+ million allocation of American Rescue Plan Act funds announced in April 2022 includes $12 million for housing development including for those projects described below. The county also set aside $3 million to create a housing revolving loan fund, and $150,000 for a homeless advocates pilot program.
Projects receiving funds will provide housing to some of the community’s most vulnerable populations who struggle to find a quality place to live. This includes seniors on fixed incomes, larger households who need more space at an attainable price, and people who need an affordable home near jobs with quality transit access.
In addition to those previously announced, the Trust Fund is today reporting these additional investments:
Star Lofts, Cutler Development, Inc., $500,000
This new construction project is scheduled for completion in Fall 2024 at 2701 Ingersoll Avenue. It will transform a blighted gas station into Iowa’s first Zero Carbon certified building (as certified by the International Living Future Institute). It will feature a mass timber structure and the building’s energy consumption will be 100% offset via onsite and offsite solar. Affordability restrictions will apply to all of the 20 apartments in the building with 6 units held affordable for people earning at or under 30% of Area Median Income which are supported by this grant. These apartments will provide needed workforce-affordable, transit-accessible housing on the Ingersoll Avenue corridor.
Lyn Crossing, Dream Catcher, Inc., $393,750
Lyn Crossing was originally constructed in 2001 by the nonprofit Dream Catcher, Inc. The property offers 50 apartment homes (45 with affordability restrictions) at 2000 Meadow Chase Lane in Des Moines - including one building with units specially designed for disabled adults. These funds will be used to address important capital needs at the property – such as replacing the roofs on the property’s 8 residential buildings and community building or similar needs identified in a recent comprehensive assessment. These repairs will help preserve these apartments in service at rents affordable to people and families earning below either 40 or 50% of area median income.
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 $59,100 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 $29,550 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 is expected later this month.)
PCHTF will continue to report its progress on finalizing funding agreements quarterly to Polk County and the public until the fund is fully expended.
Updated: Apr 6, 2023
HOME, Inc. was founded in 1967 through the efforts of residents concerned about the lack of decent affordable housing. It is the oldest private, non-profit housing organization in Des Moines.
The organization’s goal is to meet individuals and families where they are in their housing journey, and HOME, Inc. does this by developing affordable housing that revitalizes neighborhoods, counseling individuals and families to help them obtain and retain housing and providing education and support to tenants and landlords to improve rental relationships.
HOME, Inc. offers a tenant-landlord counseling service that can help with common rental housing issues. The service assisted 2,650 families last. year including with questions about where to find affordable housing, seek rental assistance, or avoid eviction.
The organization also provides homeownership readiness counseling and pre-purchase counseling that helps families prepare to purchase their first home, as well as address issues that arise after becoming homeowners.
Finally, HOME, Inc. also constructs homes that are then made available to low- and moderate-income families in the community.
HOME, Inc.’s multifaceted approach to helping the community with housing challenges ensures they can meet their clients and residents wherever they are on their housing journey and provide support that creates a stronger community over time.
You can learn more about HOME, Inc. at www.HOMEINCdsm.com
This week, the Polk County Housing Trust Fund is sharing stories about some of our provider partners working to ensure housing opportunity for all. Make sure you sign up for e-mail updates to stay in touch when we share more stories like these.