City, County and IMPACT Lauded by Feds As "High Performing" in COVID Rental Help

Des Moines, Iowa - September 20, 2021 - IMPACT Community Action Partnership, the City of Des Moines and Polk County were cited by the U.S. Department of the Treasury as a “high performing” program in supporting families in need of rental assistance. In a press release issued by the Treasury on September 14, 2021, the central Iowa partnership was commended for “creating a low barrier program” and “providing real time support to those facing potential evictions.” Also mentioned were the strong relationships with the local court system and refugee organizations.

The funds -- totaling over 26 million dollars -- enabled IMPACT to assist 11,475 individuals including 5,198 children, February to September 2021.

“Tenants and landlords are hit hard by the pandemic and other factors no fault of their own,” said IMPACT’s CEO, Anne Bacon. “We are committed to providing essential, efficient and effective services for families in need. Our systems are in place to further prevent evictions with thanks to this allocation of resources, generous donors and an overall can-do spirit.”

“Even before the pandemic, Polk County had put into motion tools to help provide financial assistance and guidance to those in need of financial help. That effort became an even larger priority when so many lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and were struggling to stay in their homes,” said Supervisor Angela Connolly, Polk County Board Chair. “I am proud of the steps Polk County has taken to work with our community partners, refugee population and civil courts to prevent hundreds of families from being evicted because of the pandemic. We are proud to be recognized as the nation’s leading performer as a steward of funds used to keep people in their homes. And we are grateful that the treasury recognizes the need for additional funds to be granted. Polk County continues to remain committed to using those funds wisely as we work to keep as many families in their homes as possible.”

“Rental assistance does little good if it’s not disbursed quickly. When we learned that funds would be available for Des Moines residents financially affected by the pandemic we knew that help needed to arrive as soon as possible – that’s why we sought direct funding from the U.S. Treasury and collaborated our efforts with IMPACT Community Action Partnership,” said Mayor Frank Cownie. “I’m very proud of our efforts and our partnership with IMPACT. There have been too many families facing too many problems these past 18 months and anything we can continue to do in Des Moines and Polk County to help keep folks safe in their homes will always remain our highest priority.”

The first round of rental and utility emergency funds was released to the county and city in February 2021 through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. The second round was provided via the American Rescue Plan of 2021. The collaboration of local nonprofits along with city, county and state leaders are utilizing innovative approaches to make the most of all available federal funding.

Other high performing rental assistance programs cited in the U.S. Treasury press release include Philadelphia; the Island of Oahu: City and County of Honolulu and Department of Hawaiian Home Lands; Houston and Harris County, Texas; Leon County, Florida; and New Orleans.
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IMPACT Community Action Partnership is a 501(c)(3) private, non-profit organization serving five counties in central Iowa. The organizational mission is to eliminate poverty through empowering vulnerable populations, building collaborations and advocating for social change. Additional information can be obtained by contacting IMPACT’s administrative office at 3226 University Avenue in Des Moines, by dialing 515.274.1334 or online at impactcap.org.