The Polk County Housing Trust Fund (PCHTF) has awarded Amal Barre of Des Moines a Graduate Fellowship in Housing Justice for the 2022-2023 academic year. The fellowship supports scholarly research and productive community dialogue about how to achieve Greater Des Moines’ progress toward equitable housing outcomes for all people and families living in the community.
Barre has long championed housing access and opportunity in Greater Des Moines. She serves as VP of planning and strategy at Oakridge Neighborhood, a nonprofit housing and human services agency that provides housing and wraparound services in Des Moines’ urban core. She is the founder and project director of unevictIA, a project that cultivates eviction prevention strategies and builds partnerships to reduce barriers to emergency housing support services and affordable housing.
The fellowship supports Barre’s pursuit of her PhD in urban planning at the University of Amsterdam. Her primary research focus is on the impact of urban renewal policy on owner occupied household displacement in historically low-income and minority neighborhoods in Des Moines, Iowa, and Amsterdam, the Netherlands, between 1950 and 2022. The research will advance strategies to reduce harmful effects of urban renewal programs in the future.
The Trust Fund gratefully acknowledges grant support of this program by the Mid-Iowa Health Foundation and the assistance of Dr. Jane Rongerude, associate professor of community and regional planning at Iowa State University, to develop the program.