In 2021, Iowa had the second highest homeownership rates in the country following only West Virginia (Urban Institute, 2021). Our state offers lower cost of living, and Des Moines was named the 14th best places to live by U.S. News.
Unfortunately, not all groups are able to access homeownership at the same rate as white residents. Non-white Iowa residents have much lower homeownership rates as shown in the figure. Only 39.0% of Black households in Polk County own their homes compared to 72.1% of White households. A higher share of Polk County Black households are homeowners compared to the rest of the state at 32%. Other non-White households have higher rates of homeownership in Polk County with 41.6% of Hispanic households and 58.9% of Asian or Pacific Islander households.
The Polk County Housing Trust Fund partners with community organizations such as HOME, Inc., Neighborhood Finance Corporation, and the Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity to help households reach their goal of homeownership. These organizations, together with many lenders and others, recently contributed to an affordable homeownership guide available for download here. It details many of the free, confidential services available to help community members overcome barriers to owning a home.
Arie True-Funk is PCHTF's director of research and planning. She periodically shares key insights about local housing data here on PCHTF's blog. Have a housing topic you'd like to see us explore in a future post? Leave a comment below with your suggestion or idea.