WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — The City of West Des Moines announced on Wednesday a new housing initiative for Historic West Des Moines. The initiative will provide funds to spruce up homes, increase home ownership for low and moderate-income Iowans, and help with down payment assistance.

Community and Economic Development Director Clyde Evans says a new public/private partnership will fund three programs. Polk County contributed $1 million and West Bank, First National Bank, Bankers Trust, GreenState Foundation, Bank Iowa, and Northwest Bank contributed $620,000. West Des Moines will match these donations, Evans says.

The first program is a Home Improvement Program. The city will provide a match of up to $25,000 to homeowners to assist with exterior home repairs.

The second program is a Rental Acquisition Program which will allow single family rental units to transition into owner-occupied properties. The city will purchase the single family rentals then local nonprofits will renovate and sell the properties to low-income buyers.

The final program is a Down Payment Assistance Program that will provide loans and grants to assist in the purchase of homes. This program will operate in a partnership with the Iowa Finance Authority’s homebuyers program and the Neighborhood Finance Corporation’s down payment assistance program.

Mayor Russ Trimble says these initiatives are a continuation of the work the city has already done to improve housing in West Des Moines, but there is more to be done.

“We recognize there are a lot of pieces to the housing puzzle,” he said. “It’s not a one size fits all solution, so we’re reaching out and enlisting partners to make things happen in Historic West Des Moines.”

Eligible properties must be located within the Historic West Des Moines area, which spans from 1st Street on the East, Railroad Ave on the South and Grand Ave. on the North and West.

The Historic West Des Moines fund pilot program will span only three years. Applications for the fund will be made available on July 1 on the housing page of the City of West Des Moines website.