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.