Des Moines Property Assessment Underway

Foreclosed home

Photo: Getty Images

(Des Moines, IA) -- A Property Condition Survey has been underway this year in the city of Des Moines. Staffers with the city's office of Neighborhood Services have been gathering information about the condition of commercial and residential properties throughout the entire city.

SuAnn Donovan, the City’s deputy director of Neighborhood Services, says information gathered will be beneficial for city planning and neighborhood improvement efforts. She says it's not an enforcement effort, and property owners will not be notified and ordered to make repairs. She says the goal is to find owners who may qualify for assistance.

"From vacant properties to new construction, this will provide us the first citywide condition report of every house in Des Moines ranked on a scale of 1-5" Donovan said. "From the Property Condition Survey, we can identify specific repairs needed for some homes and where assistance might be needed."

Coordinators are trained to look at specific categories for the exterior of properties, with a focus on safety conditions including:

  • Condition of Roofs
  • Condition of Siding
  • Condition of Windows
  • Condition of Fences and Gates
  • Condition of Porches and Balconies
  • Condition of Foundations

Donovan says the survey began in the spring and will conclude at the end of the year.

She says the information could prove useful for non-profit organizations planning home and/or neighborhood rehabilitation projects. The city of Des Moines is also getting ready to launch a program aimed at stabilizing homes and neighborhoods.

Donovan says staffers are also trying to get a better idea of the number of abandoned properties within city limits.

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