Updated: Apr 6, 2023
Neighborhood Finance Corporation has been lending in Des Moines since 1991. NFC provides unique lending programs and related services to help revitalize designated neighborhoods in Polk County and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. NFC has served 8,000 households in Des Moines making over $400 million in investments.
NFC’s lending helps people purchase homes, refinance existing mortgages, and secure home improvement renovation loans. They do this in partnership with Polk County and the cities of Des Moines, West Des Moines, Windsor Heights and Urbandale along with capital for lending raised from local financial institutions.
The lending areas where NFC operates were created in response to the impact of redlining and historic and discriminatory restrictions on access to capital. Those disparities are still quite apparent today as large racial and ethnic homeownership gaps exist in our community. While still providing lending to the community at large, NFC has been developing specific strategies to close these longstanding gaps.
In 2017, NFC was awarded funds that allowed the organization to offer down payment assistance and found that offering this benefit increased its lending to communities of color by 35%.
NFC has built on that progress by offering its Journey to Homeownership program which in its first year has nearly doubled the percentage of its loans to Black and African American homebuyers.
This year, NFC has just announced a new down payment assistance program that can provide up to a $30,000 deferred loan to eligible homebuyers purchasing in Polk County with an approved lender. This program will further expand the organization’s ability to help more people and families realize their dream of owning a home. Learn more about Neighborhood Finance Corporation at www.neighborhoodfinance.org.
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.
On Sept. 21, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) awarded $29.8 million in workforce housing tax incentives to 49 projects across Iowa. Iowa’s Workforce Housing Tax Credit encourages development and rehabilitation of housing in Iowa, especially focusing on rehabilitation of vacant or underused property.
In Polk County, 6 projects were awarded a combined $3.1 million in tax credits. Those projects will support new construction of 173 new rental housing units and rehabilitation of an additional 150 rental units.
Five are located in Des Moines, while the sixth (Junction Development Catalyst, LLC) is a project in West Des Moines. Two received the maximum credit award of $1 million.
IEDA reported it received applications for nearly triple the incentives available in this funding round. The agency says projects were “scored competitively based on readiness, financing, need and local support and participation.”
Receipt of the tax credit does not require that future residents of the property will need to meet income guidelines; however, to qualify, project costs cannot exceed $200,000 (or $250,000 for historic rehabilitation) per unit.
Polk County projects funded
Number of Units
Urban Campus Apartments LLLP
Junction Development Catalyst, LLC
3524 6th Ave. Historic Rehabilitation
Source: Iowa Economic Development Authority
Here We Grow now provides an interactive map highlighting local data from around the metro. Using the map, you can view several data layers that offer insights looking at the whole region, or your own neighborhood.
Here's some of what you can find.
Development Nodes: These views help us recognize areas in the community that are important cultural and commercial centers that are suited for a variety of housing and business development.
Tomorrow Plan Nodes: The Tomorrow Plan defined “nodes” as the “economic and cultural focal points of a region” that are economically important and “should include a wider range of housing types than are typically available in conventional residential areas.” The plan identified nodes that function on a neighborhood, community, and regional level, as well as downtown.
PlanDSM Nodes: These areas are recognized by the City of Des Moines comprehensive plan, PlanDSM, as places where Des Moines can create “increased housing and transportation choices, reduced infrastructure and maintenance expenditures, and the creation of vibrant places to serve neighborhoods and the city as a whole.” They are also identified on the neighborhood, community and regional level.
Work and home areas by income: We provide four views showing where our area's low income and hourly workforces live and work. These views are based on LEHD Origin-Destination Employment Statistics from the US Census Bureau. The maps give you a chance to visualize where people live and work in your community, in this case using two income ranges:
Earning $1,250 or less each month equates to incomes up to $15,000 annually.
Earning $1,251 to $3,333 monthly equates to incomes of $15,000 to $40,000 annually.
DART Transit Routes: Transit is an important way for workers to navigate between homes and jobs; bus routes tend to operate on some of the regions’ most important commercial corridors. DART’s fixed bus routes are shown, current as of June 2021.
Median year housing built: Uses data from the 5-Year 2019 American Community Survey to show the median year housing structures were built, summarized by decade. This view provides some insight into the region’s historic development patterns.
Mapping social and economic opportunity: These two views provide a related sense of where economic and social opportunity are located in our region. They use different underlying methodologies, but interestingly they tell a consistent story about where opportunity is located in our region. Here We Grow’s equity priority encourages us to take action so that families are not sorted into high and low opportunity areas merely based on their income.
Des Moines MPO Environmental Justice Areas (2020): The Des Moines Area MPO publishes environmental justice maps. MPO analyses 7 “degrees of disadvantage” that may apply to a given area; areas with multiple degrees of disadvantage may be said to require special attention to ensure environmental justice and equity goals are upheld.
Iowa Finance Authority Opportunity Areas: The Iowa Finance Authority identifies these areas using a US Department of Housing and Urban Development methodology. Areas identified score highly on a variety of factors measuring economic and social opportunity, including poverty measures, labor market engagement, job access, mobility, school proficiency, and community health.
Housing wage by zip code: This measure is created by the National Low Income Housing Coalition as part of its annual Out of Reach assessment of the hourly wage a person needs to earn to afford a modest two bedroom apartment. In this map, areas of higher housing cost are highlighted in red, and users can select a zip code to view a variety of data, including the wage a person would need to earn, labeled as the “housing wage”, to afford a one or two bedroom apartment in that zip code.
Finally, our interactive map also allows users to display municipal boundaries as well as the outline of the planning area used to create the Tomorrow Plan.