5 -Part

Video Series

Explore the history of redlining and systemic racism in housing with the Polk County Housing Trust Fund's new 5-part video series. 

This series explores

  • the history of past racial housing policies,

  • the history of Des Moines and the State of Iowa in regard to these past policies and others and, 

  • look at how that history has impacted our developing city and what we can do about it. 

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* Thank you to Artist Mark Marturello for the incredible Movie Poster for the series!
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An Interactive Exhibit


What is Redlining?

In the 1930s, President Roosevelt created a variety of federal departments and programs that would bring America out of the Great Depression. This action is known as the New Deal and its impact on families across the country was mostly positive. However, with the creation of the Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC), a system now known as Redlining came into existence. This home valuation and mortgage risk assessment system embedded Jim Crow-era segregation and inequality into cities across the United States. Maps of cities were developed to show which neighborhoods were best for investment and mortgage loans and which were not. These maps, known as Redlining maps, told banks where and whom they should provide money. This practice is how structural racism and inequality was designed into our cities and built environment. And the impact and consequences have never been undone.  

Do you have a story to share?

We are collecting stories from our community to display on this website. If you have a story to share related to the topics discussed and displayed, we would love to hear them and add them to our growing collection of local knowledge. 

Help Support the Polk County Housing Trust Fund

Your Donation Will Assist Our Efforts In:

- Providing Continued Education of the History of Redlining, Discrimination, and Housing Policies in Des Moines and Iowa

- Funding Programs and Supportive Services throughout Polk County

- Providing Continued Research and Funding to Address Housing Inequity in Polk County


Watch Our Facebook Live Exhibit Tour 

Thanks for Watching!


We still have realtors assume white families don't want Des Moines Public Schools . . . implicit bias exists everywhere.

I found it so shocking about how the cycle seems to continue today.

Big government seem to facilitate these practices, but glad to see the importance of community involvement and action for change

We keep repeating the same mistakes. Historical disinvestment must be considered!!

I enjoyed learning about the history and how redlining affected Des Moines.

Indebted to all those who worked to bring the exhibit together. Thank you. We need to all work together to change the inequality in Des Moines.

What is the City of Des Moines doing about this/to redesign ?

Thank you for opening this exhibit so others in the community come come! Appreciate it very much!

Systematic and institutional racism needs to be addressed through practice + policy change. We need more political advocates.



Wells Fargo

Mid Iowa Health Foundation

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The Director's


Visit Our Host Organizations

Contact Us

Exhibit and Booking Information

Kendyl Larson

Phone: 515-282-3233

Email: klarson@pchtf.org

Media Inquiries

Lauren Johnson

Phone: 515-282-3233

Email: ljohnson@pchtf.org

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