Illustration of a hand hammering a board decorated with a one hundred dollar bill over a home window
Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Des Moines metro property owners have more options to fund home improvements this year.

What’s happening: Des Moines is kicking off a new cycle of Block Challenge Grants next month.

  • The grant program, which helps pay for exterior home repairs, was rolled out in 2020 in four neighborhoods and expanded citywide last year.
  • It requires that homeowners apply with a team of neighbors to make more impactful improvements along blocks. The city provides up to a 50% matching grant of up to $2,500 per household.

What else: Des Moines-based Neighborhood Finance Corporation (NFC) also launched a forgivable loan program for home improvements in Urbandale last year.

Of note: Most homeowners can qualify for at least some of the incentives, regardless of their income level.

  • Extra assistance is also available to help lower-income homeowners pay down payments or matches required for the Block Challenge Grants.

What they’re saying: Des Moines is trying to be proactive and encourage citywide home improvements to help avoid blight, City Councilperson Linda Westergaard told Axios last week.

What’s ahead: Applications for the Block Challenge Grants begin May 1.


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