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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Polk County Housing Trust Fund looking at ways to make owning a home more affordable

"Affordable housing is becoming a much bigger issue in the metro area," PCHTF Executive Director Eric Burmeister said.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Access to affordable housing has been an issue for a long time across the state and especially in the Des Moines metro. 

The Polk County Housing Trust Fund believes it's time to focus on a need for a coordinated regional plan to make affordable housing a reality. They are taking this week, which is Affordable Housing Week, to educate the public.

"Affordable housing is becoming a much bigger issue in the metro area," PCHTF Executive Director Eric Burmeister said.

This is why during Facebook Live sessions, he will discuss housing data in different cities and topics like people in this area being rent-burdened. 

"About 50 percent of the renters in central Iowa are paying more than 30 percent of every dollar that they earn, on their housing," Burmeister said. 

To help solve that issue and bring more affordable housing to the metro, the PCHTF has created a three-part strategy:

  • Affordable homes need to be near job centers
  • Homes need to be those people would choose to fit their needs
  • Address previous inequities in the housing system

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Realtor Joe Henry told Local 5 these strategies sound great, but in the metro's housing market where inventory for cheaper housing is low and costs keep rising, implementing them might be hard. 

"For an 800 or 1,000 square foot home, it is approaching in some areas in Des Moines nearly $200,000 for that home," Henry said. "So we have a problem."

Burmeister agreed housing prices are rising, but there is a plan in their strategy that discusses helping future homebuyers with down payments.

To watch the Polk County Housing Trust Fund's Facebook Live videos, click here

Monday-Wednesday the organization will be live at noon, and on Friday they will go live at 10 a.m.