Invest DSM Executive Director Amber Lynch presented at the Sept. 7 Council Lunch meeting to answer questions about how Springfield’s Restore SGF program could be patterned after the Des Moines nonprofit.
Invest DSM is a collaboration between the City of Des Moines and Polk County created as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in July 2019. Invest DSM provides holistic and innovative solutions such as neighborhood block grants that engage and strengthen neighborhoods. They do this through strategic investments in real estate and partnerships to improve quality of life. Invest DSM’s vision is vibrant, healthy, thriving neighborhoods.
Restore SGF’s goals include encouraging home ownership and enhancing Springfield’s housing stock. The program’s strategies are to provide a central resource for all residential programs, more effectively market residential programs, stimulate the creation of rehabilitation incentives and provide resources to reduce barriers to home ownership and reinvestment in Springfield’s historic neighborhoods.
At the meeting, Community Foundation of the Ozarks President Brian Fogle announced a commitment of $600,000 to create such a program in Springfield. Restore SGF’s supporters, which include Fogle, Councilmen Richard Ollis and Abe McGull, Councilwoman Heather Hardinger, Neighborhood Advisory Council co-chairs Rusty Worley and Becky Volz, 131st District Rep. Bill Owen and other community members, including bankers, real estate professionals traveled to Des Moines to learn about Invest DSM earlier this summer. The group has asked City Council for $1 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to get the program off the ground.
“I’m pleased to tell you that Community Foundation of the Ozarks is making a commitment of $600,000 to Restore SGF,” Fogle said. “We’re making a $500,000 program-related investment at 2.5% interest with maturity in seven years, which will be that ‘patient capital,’ that Restore SGF can use to buy homes and revitalize them, loan money at low interest rates, etc. A $100,000 grant over five years will provide funding for staff to do the ‘mission work.’ We have several bankers here that we’ve been visiting with who are interested in investing in this initiative as well.”