Plans for a 65-unit housing development on Des Moines' far northeast side will go before the City Council Monday.
Why it matters: It would create more homes in an undeveloped area near Altoona and Pleasant Hill, but some nearby residents oppose the project.
🧞 ️Unleash your inner design genie and let your imagination run wild with this vacant lot in Des Moines' Linden Heights neighborhood.
- It's nested in a wooded area overlooking Water Works Park.
Specs: Just over ½ acre, adjacent to the Bill Riley Trail, six-year tax abatement.
Flashback: Until a few months ago, the lot spanned nearly 1.5 acres and had a home on the property.
- Owner Ted Thoms told us the house needed some work, plus his family wanted to build their own place.
- They ended up dividing the area, and put the other lot up for sale.
Cool bonus: Thoms and his company, Lost Planet Development, shared drawings of some homes that may work on the property.
- There's room for a 7,000-square-foot home, he said.
New homebuyers are paying as much as $15,000 more on property lots due to regulations linked with a new regional stormwater plan, the Home Builders Association of Des Moines (HBA) warns.
- Des Moines and West Des Moines are expected to consider adopting the plan in coming months.
Why it matters: The plan aims to address regional flooding by calling for stricter design standards to capture and slowly release rain. That typically means more land is needed.
- Yes, but: The HBA says a financial analysis was never conducted and costs of implementing the plan can be excessive.
Iowa could lose millions of dollars in federal emergency rent assistance due to slow distribution of a $195 million grant, federal officials warned the state this week.
- The state has disbursed less than 10% ($18.4 million), as of Tuesday.
- Those that haven't obligated 65% of their funds have until Nov. 15 to submit an improvement plan — which Iowa plans to do, Ashley Jared, a spokesperson for the Iowa Finance Authority, told us.
Why it matters: Nearly 10,000 Iowans face the likelihood of eviction in the next two months, according to the most recent household pulse survey from the U.S. Census Bureau.
- They're among 27 property owners located in a floodplain along Fourmile Creek that has not participated in previous flood buyouts.
Why it matters: There might be a whole lot of us in their shoes in coming years.
- Extreme weather events are virtually assured for the next three decades due to climate change, Axios' Andrew Freedman and Kia Kokalitcheva write.
Property values worth more than $300 million were wiped off Polk County's tax rolls after owners challenged this year's assessments, according to a recent county assessor's report.
Why it matters: The records show it's the biggest rollback in the county's history. Residents and business owners will now pay less in annual property taxes, some by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- But it also means less revenue for local governments to pay for things like schools, streets and sewers.
Homes built with a 3D printer could alleviate Iowa's affordable housing gaps and help rejuvenate rural areas, Zach Mannheimer of 3D housing company Alquist told Axios.
Driving the news: Mannheimer's company is planning to build a 3D-printed home in Stanton, Iowa, next year.
Why it matters: Central Iowa is facing a shortage of tens of thousands of new housing units over the next few decades, according to a DSM study from 2018.
- A lack of affordable digs jeopardizes employment growth, the study found.
Growing frustration with slum and blight along some of Des Moines' busiest corridors has city leaders considering a new approach to redevelopment.
- Des Moines staff members are developing a plan to potentially establish new districts for popular community improvement programs, specifically tax increment financing (TIF), even before developers ask for city assistance.
Why it matters: It could prompt much-needed improvements throughout the city. But decades of future property tax growth could be tied up in paying for it.
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