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Des Moines and Polk County extend Invest DSM revitalization pilot

By Jason Clayworth for Axios Des Moines


A neighborhood revitalization pilot program created by Des Moines and Polk County will be extended by another five years.

Why it matters: Invest DSM tackles neighborhood decline by investing in areas that show early signs of distress, well before there is widespread slum and blight.

  • City and county officials believe it’s working.

Driving the news: The city and county’s initial three-year commitments end July 31.

  • But the City Council approved a contract Monday that says each will allocate $5 million to the group in the fiscal year that starts in July.
  • Similar levels of contributions are anticipated through 2027.

How it works: The pilot targets four Des Moines districts, where home and business owners can qualify for grants that help pay for property improvements.

  • Hundreds of owners participated, investing millions of dollars more into their properties beyond their initial grants allocations.

What’s next: City Council members have expressed interest in expanding the program to other areas of the city.

  • Further discussion is expected in coming months.

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