Block Challenge Grant


The Block Challenge Grant program is closed for 2022. Check back in January 2023 for future program updates.

Neighbors uniting to build community and neighborhood identity while improving the physical appearance of Des Moines' neighborhoods.

The City of Des Moines is offering a citywide Block Challenge Grant Program for a second year. The Block Challenge Grant Program improves the exterior physical condition of properties located within the City of Des Moines, brings neighbors together to build a sense of community pride, and creates momentum for larger, more impactful property improvements.

On May 1, 2022, the Block Challenge Grant process opened for neighborhood teams wanting to make exterior home improvements of all sizes, from a new mailbox to an addition or a new garage.

Are you working in your neighborhood to form a team?

Download and share the Block Challenge Grant Flyer with neighbors. Form a team and designate a leader. Gather inspiration from the projects completed during the 2021 Block Grant Challenge cycle.

For any questions, please email or call (515) 283-4775.

Grant Funding and Eligibility Requirements

Funding is available to assist between 100-150 program participants or 10-30 teams. The City of Des Moines will provide up to a 50% matching grant of up to $2,500 per household depending on team size and location within the City. Households that receive income-based assistance may be eligible for a higher match.


  • Properties must be located in the City of Des Moines.
  • Properties must be exterior improvements, at least partially visible from the street.
  • Applicant must be homeowner of record or have written permission from owner.
  • Each property must be within eyesight from the front door of one other participating property.

Process Overview

  1. Form a team of at least five (5) neighbors. Designate a Team Leader.
  2. DUE TO PRORAM INTEREST, ALL INFORMATION SESSIONS ARE FILLED AND WE ARE NO LONGER SCHEDULING SESSIONS. New teams are not being accepted at this time. Attend an information session with the City of Des Moines. Before submitting an application, an informational meeting must take place in which at least half of the team's perspective participating members attend.  Requests for informational sessions will not be accepted prior to May 1. Informational sessions are scheduled on a first-come, first-scheduled basis beginning May 1, 2022. Following the information session, Teams will receive access to a Team OneDrive folder and can submit applications.
  3. Complete applications and submit materials including before photos and contractor bids, if applicable, within 30 days of the information session.
  4. Projects are reviewed.
  5. 90 days to complete projects if approved.
  6. Submit reimbursement requests, receipts/invoices and after photos.

Policies and Procedures and Frequently Asked Questions 

Please review the Policies and Procedures and  Frequently Asked Questions as teams are formed and applications are completed.