Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

There are roughly 200 rent vouchers for poor families going unused each month in DSM because of administrative headaches linked with the pandemic, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Low-income families have been hit hardest by pandemic-driven shutdowns, per the Pew Research Center. They need this help now more than ever.

The state of play: More than 3,200 low-income families in Des Moines receive Section 8 vouchers, a $15 million program administered by the city.

  • But he city has been unable to quickly process new applications as other families leave the program, leaving vouchers unfilled.
  • More than 500 families remain on a waiting list.
  • The average monthly assistance is $455.

What's happening: The city’s housing agency is located at Polk County River Place, a government building that has been closed to the general public throughout the pandemic.

  • The agency’s office is still open, but sees clients by appointment only.
  • Applicants are required by federal rules to watch a two-hour presentation. An online option wasn’t available until recently.
  • And staffing crunches have contributed to delays. Four of the office's five staffers were absent at one point in recent months for COVID-linked reasons.

Worth noting: A voucher program for 143 homeless veterans and another for foster kids aging out of the system have so far remained steady, agency director Chris Johansen told us. Other assistance has also been made available:

  • An eviction prevention program run by the Polk County Housing Trust Fund has contributed nearly $1.8 million in government allocations and private donations, helping roughly 1,000 households.
  • An additional $14 million in federal aid was announced yesterday for Des Moines and Polk County residents for as much as a year of rent assistance.

What's next: City housing staffers are trying to ramp up the program, but a lot depends on pandemic recovery. They’re currently filling about around 20 a month.

Of note: To increase housing opportunities, Des Moines passed an ordinance in 2019 that requires landlords to accept the vouchers.

  • A legislative effort would prohibit such mandates and — if passed — could complicate the city’s efforts.

Go deeper

The Polk County officials set to make more than Iowa's governor

Polk County Supervisors are getting a pay raise. Photo courtesy of Polk County

Polk County’s elected officials will get a 3% pay hike starting July 1, approved this week in a 3-2 vote by the Board of Supervisors.

Driving the news: The increases were recommended by a county compensation board, which compared total compensation with like-sized counties.

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."