Drawing inspiration from Des Moines, Iowa, the City of Springfield is hoping to adopt incentive programs to help address the problem of having many historic, yet deteriorating neighborhoods.  

At Tuesday’s City Council lunch, Invest DSM Executive Director Amber Lynch was there to answer questions about how Springfield’s Restore SGF program could be patterned after the Des Moines nonprofit.   

“We’re really trying to get each neighborhood to its own tipping point of how do we incentivize investment until investment is rewarded on its own,” says Lynch. 

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.  

Restore SGF’s supporters, which include city and nonprofit leaders as well as bankers and real estate professionals, traveled to Des Moines to learn about Invest DSM earlier this summer.  

Invest DSM has already implemented several incentive programs to motivate homeowners and landlords to maintain, improve, and take pride in their properties.  

“It’s not that homes aren’t selling, they do sell. But they are not necessarily selling for much more than somebody bought them for ten years ago,” Lynch says. 

Restore SGF has similar goals of encouraging homeownership 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 homeownership and reinvestment in Springfield’s historic neighborhoods. 

“Those neighborhoods then attract new buyers that are going to take care of those homes and maintain that standard of living,” Lynch says. 

At the meeting, Community Foundation of the Ozarks President Brian Fogle announced a commitment of $600,000 to create such a program in Springfield.  

The group has also asked City Council for $1 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to get the program off the ground. You can see the full presentation from Amber Lynch here.