Des Moines launches online map to help residents track demolition homes


An excavator demolishes a house on 11th Street in the Cheatom Park area in June 2019. (Photo: Des Moines city, especially for the Register)

Des Moines has launched an online map where residents can track the Blitz on Blight city demolition program.

The map tracks houses and buildings that the city defines as public troubles, the first step to demolition before they are torn down. Since the spring of 2019, 25 houses have been demolished in the city, the cost of which is estimated at 686,456 US dollars.

Des Moines currently has 198 homes on the way to demolition, and 30 of them are ready for demolition. The city reached a rehabilitation agreement with 16 owners, which gave them time to complete the renovation of houses.

The city hopes to demolish 100 homes this year.

More: The historic Des Moines home has been in trouble. Can it be saved from breaking the ball?

People who use the map can click to see photos of houses, their case numbers and project dates.

“Thanks to this new digital program, we can now give a first-hand report to the public on what is happening in their surroundings and on the progress made,” said Soann Donovan, administrator of the Des Moines District Inspectorate.

Last year, city leaders identified Blitz on Blight as one of the main programs to benefit from the recently introduced local options sales tax.

Austin Cannon covers the city of Des Moines for Register. Contact him at [email protected] or call 515-284-8398. Your subscription makes such work possible. Sign up today at

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