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Group seeks to turn Des Moines hotel into affordable housing

June 1, 2021 GMT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A nonprofit group is working to buy a motel located just south of Interstate 35 in northwest Des Moines and turn it into affordable housing.

The Des Moines City County recently approved funds to go toward Anawim Housing’s project, television station WHO 13 reported. Anawim said it plans to renovate the 73-unit Days Inn by adding kitchenettes to each unit. The project is estimated to cost the nonprofit about $4 million.

The affordable housing project will operate as an apartment complex, Anawim Executive Director Cynthia Latcham said. Tenants will pay rent, but no more than 30% of their income.

Anawim has been offering affordable housing in central Iowa for 20 years and manages 250 units scattered across Polk County. The Days Inn would be Anawim’s first centralized location.

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“Being able to serve people and offer that behavioral health component, so both mental health and substance use disorder treatment in one location will be really essential for supporting the folks that we’re serving,” Latcham said.

Anawim hopes to finalize the purchase of the Days Inn by the end of the year.