Community Foundation Grants $100,000 to Anawim Housing Legacy Project

Jul. 1, 2015 null

The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines has awarded a $100,000 Leadership Grant to Anawim Housing in support of the organization’s Legacy Project. Community Foundation Leadership Grants play a key role in strengthening Greater Des Moines by providing significant funding leadership to projects proactively responding to community trends and opportunities. Leadership Grants are funded by the generosity of community members interested in making our community better today and tomorrow through gifts to the Better Together Fund.


The Legacy Project is the first step in a collaborative multi-phase project to transform the 6th Avenue Corridor through new residential housing, commercial property and community space. “Our goal is to impact the neighborhood and spark interest in development and renovations to start a revitalization of the neighborhood – beginning with the Legacy Project,” says Russ Frazier, president of Anawim Housing.


The Community Foundation’s Leadership Grant will support the building of six townhomes which will be available to qualified families through Anawim Housing’s model of market rate housing. According to Frazier, “We often have hardworking families who come to us with a need for affordable housing, but their household income puts them just a few hundred dollars a year over the required threshold for affordable housing programs.” Such situations lead to unfortunate outcomes including lease payments far greater than income capability (sometimes 40-50% of income used for housing) and at times can serve as a disincentive to increase income. By utilizing the Anawim Housing model of market rate housing, the townhomes will provide an opportunity for clean, safe and affordable housing. As Frazier shares, “The townhomes will provide these families a front door to welcome family and friends, a backyard for children to play and a place to call home.”


The project’s collaborative approach to meeting a community need stood out to the Community Foundation’s Grantmaking Committee and board of directors as they considered Anawim Housing’s grant application. The recently released Housing Tomorrow Plan highlights affordable housing as a need central to improving quality of life for many in our community. “Anawim Housing’s commitment to the Sixth Avenue Corridor is a great example of utilizing a mixed income housing concept to increase property value, safety and desirability of an entire neighborhood. As we developed the Housing Tomorrow Plan a project such as this was identified as a critical community need. ” says Eric Burmeister, Polk County Housing Trust Fund executive director.


Through strategic Leadership Grants the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines plays a key role in providing significant funding leadership to projects that strengthen Greater Des Moines by proactively responding to community trends and opportunities.  Leadership Grants are funded through donations to the Better Together Fund. Donors to the Better Together Fund give to support community needs now and into the future as identified through the Community Foundations grantmaking process facilitated by the organizations expert staff, Grantmaking Committee and board of directors. Community Foundation president Kristi Knous shares, “The Community Foundation is proud to invest in the Legacy Project as a catalyst for creating transformational change in a neighborhood while simultaneously providing an opportunity for families to have a house and community to call home.” Click here to learn more.