Community Housing Initiatives, Inc., a statewide housing nonprofit, celebrated the rehabilitation of its first rehabilitated home in Des Moines' Capitol Park neighborhood Nov. 1 with an open house for the community. The home is a 1908 four bedroom 2 1/2 story property on E. 12th Street.
"The home is beautiful, and it's been through more than just a typical home improvement project. Our goal is to bring new life to properties in the Capitol Park neighborhood that have held down home values and distracted from what a great place this is to live," said Doug LaBounty, President of CHI.
Community Housing Initiatives' Stacie Phillips led an extensive renovation to the property, which has an all-new kitchen and bath, gorgeous restored foyer and staircase, and a surprisingly generous backyard.
Phillips, CHI's housing rehabilitation manager in Des Moines, also has work underway on four other properties in the Capitol Park neighborhood. Work on ten homes is planned as part of an initial group.
The housing rehabilitation is part of a unique financing partnership between the City of Des Moines, NeighborWorks America, and two local nonprofits, Community Housing Initiatives, and the Neighborhood Finance Corporation – NFC.
In the partnership, both CHI and NFC purchase, rehabilitate, and sell previously-blighted properties on the open market. Their efforts are tightly coordinated with the housing work group of Viva East Bank, a 30+ member coalition of nonprofit organizations and neighbors leading the revitalization of the Capitol Park, Martin Luther King, Jr., Park, and Capitol East neighborhoods.
Each of the three neighborhoods completed community-driven revitalization plans with the City of Des Moines in 2014, and the Viva East Bank initiative has followed to help those plans become reality. Particularly for Capitol Park, CHI is focused on responding to a desire for improvements to troubled residential properties that was expressed in the neighborhood's 2014 plan.
"You fix up a house, and it lifts up a whole block,” LaBounty said. “With so many neighbors, nonprofits, and partners working here, this home is just one way people can really see good things are happening in Capitol Park," LaBounty said.
More information about the Viva East Bank initiative is available from its website, VivaEastBank.com.