Hatch Development Group has transformed 13 vacant and blighted lots in Des Moines into 26 single-family greystones for area families.

“These vacant lots had become overgrown; magnets for crime; and expensive for the city to maintain,” says Ryan Galloway, CFO of the Des Moines–based developer. “This was meant to fill in the gaps in multiple neighborhoods.”

The Des Moines Greystones are modeled after the unique architectural style of housing in Chicago, which features a narrow width and extended length to maximize land use. Each greystone is 20 feet wide by 40 feet long, which allowed the developer to build two 2,000-square-foot single-family homes on each lot. To serve large families earning 50 percent and 60 percent of the area median income, each greystone contains four bedrooms.

Residents have the opportunity to prepare for future homeownership by participating in Iowa Finance Authority’s ROSE Program. Fifty dollars of each month’s rent is put into escrow for use as a downpayment to purchase the home after the 20-year HOME compliance period ends.

Financing for the $6.6 million development, completed in November, included low-income housing tax credit equity from Midwest Housing Equity Group as well as HOME funds from the city and the state. The city also provided 100 percent tax abatement for 10 years.