This Bus Tour focused on housing inventory. Two years ago, PCHTF set its sights on becoming the expert and “go to”organization for affordable housing. PCHTF engaged Iowa State University to do a comprehensive inventory assessment of affordable housing units in Polk County. This inventory will form the basis for all PCHTF funding decisions moving forward.
The Summer Bus Tour was an introduction to the recently released second installment of this study taking into consideration the question, “To what extent does the existing supply of affordable housing in Polk County match with the existing need for affordable housing?”.
The northern half of Des Moines has a clear concentration of rent-burdened households as defined by a household paying more than 30% of gross income on rent and utilities. This area includes the following neighborhoods: Sheridan Gardens, ACCENT, Prospect Park, Drake Park, Waveland Park/Woods, Downtown Des Moines & East Village.
The traditional method of affordability does not take into account other household expenses. The residual income approach states that a home is only affordable if a household can afford to pay rent AFTER paying for their other necessary living and sustaining expenses. When taking the residual income approach into consideration, much of Polk County is completely unaffordable to even the median household, such that low-income and even moderate-income households are restricted as to where they can afford to live.
The third phase of the study spans from July – December 2013. PCHTF staff and local policy makers will be able to make more informed policy decisions as they relate to affordable housing in Polk County.