For the fourth year, the Polk County Housing Trust Fund (PCHTF) will celebrate Affordable Housing Week from April 11-16. The week promotes the benefits of safe, stable, and affordable housing in our community through a variety of free events. PCHTF invites you to join them to learn more about housing needs in our community.

One of the highlights of the week is the second annual Housing Matters symposium on April 14, an event that brings national speakers to Des Moines to discuss the critical role of housing in building a stronger community. This year, Carol Payne of HUD in Baltimore and Amy Slonim of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will discuss how affordable housing is a vital part of regional efforts to improve health and transportation. The half-day event will also feature a panel of local leaders who have worked in cross-sector collaborations. Click here to RSVP and learn more.

The Can I Be Your Neighbor Design Challenge, another Affordable Housing Week favorite, offers high school students a chance to design an affordable home for a low-income family on an actual local site. Architects from ASK Studio will mentor the students, then judge student work at a public viewing April 16 at 10 AM in Grand View Universityā€™s Krumm Centrum. The Challenge winner will receive a scholarship from the Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines, ASK Studio, and PCHTF.

In addition, PCHTF will lead its eleventh community bus tour to highlight work on a new collaborative project called Healthy Homes East Bank, which seeks to mitigate pediatric asthma by making home improvements. PCHTF will also host an event on April 13 specifically targeted at property managers, offering training and information about programs that help provide better service to low-income residents.

For more details about Affordable Housing Week events, check out the calendar on the PCHTF website. More information is also available on the PCHTF website at, or on Facebook or Twitter.