Clark Commons Welcomes Public, First Tenants

On a snowy day in late February, HOME Inc. opened the doors to the Clark Commons project on the corner of Clark and 13th Streets in Des Moines for a public open house. Neighbors, community activists and at least one family (who was ready to move in the next day)  attended the event.

The five newly constructed units will provide affordable, permanent rental housing for women and children moving from transitional housing.  The first pool of applicants came from The House of Mercy – just a couple of blocks away – which provides transitional housing and supportive services to homeless families.  

The Clark Commons project is special because it is newly constructed units designed to fit into an existing neighborhood and targeted to low-income families with multiple housing barriers.  There is a shortage of affordable housing in Des Moines that especially impacts the very people we have targeted to serve.    

Consider: according to the 2014 CBRE Hubbell Apartment Survey, the average rent for a three-bedroom unit in Greater Des Moines is $1,034. The average rent for a similar tax credit unit is $830. These 1,200 square foot, three bedroom units will rent for $550 per month. The units include all appliances including washing machines and dryers.

Three of the units already had tenants ready to move in on March 1.  Two more families will move in March 16.   

We understand this is just a small first step, but we hope others will be willing to follow our lead and create similar projects.

This project would not have been possible without the support of Mondamin-Presidential and King-Irving neighborhood associations.  
Financial support in making this project possible was provided by City of Des Moines Community Development Department, Polk County Housing Trust Fund, Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, Bankers Trust Company, Wells Fargo Housing Foundation and ASK Studio. 

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