Housing gap, Iowa Sister States, Indexed life sales, Chris Connolly
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Friday PM Daily | March 15, 2019
Report: Housing takes up half of earnings for some households

Central Iowa has a housing gap that is eating up more than half the earnings of some families, according to a report from the Polk County Housing Trust Fund in partnership with the National Low-Income Housing Coalition.

The report shows that for families of four with annual incomes of $25,500, rent costs 50 cents for every dollar they earn.

"This crushing financial burden leaves little left for necessities such as food, transportation and health care," Eric Burmeister, executive director of the Polk County Housing Trust Fund, said in a release.

"The number of households falling into this category grows each year. The trend points to future difficulties in sustaining Central Iowa’s economic growth unless we work quickly and decisively to provide housing options that match the incomes of the jobs employers have and are planning to add."

A shortage of affordable apartments is creating the rent burden, according to the report.

"The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes" was released at a time when Greater Des Moines developers and apartment owners are looking for renters for an oversupply of multifamily units. Vacancies in Des Moines and the western suburbs approach 10 percent this quarter, according to a recent report from CBRE|Hubbell Commercial. That oversupply is tempering rent increases.

In Central Iowa, for every 100 households needing affordable housing, there are only 40 affordable and available rentals.

In order to close the gap, an additional 11,848 homes would be required.

"This obviously needs to be a top priority for state and local governments," according to Burmeister.

Nationally, only 4 million affordable and available rental homes exist for the 11 million extremely low-income renters, leaving a shortage of 7 million.


Iowa Sister States delegation to travel to Kosovo in May
The Kosovo Consulate, in partnership with Iowa Sister States, is offering the opportunity for Iowans to travel to Kosovo during the week of May 5 as part of an Iowa delegation. A limited number of spaces are still available on the delegation, which will  consist of a variety of Iowans from government, agriculture, education, volunteer, business, law enforcement, sports and cultural organizations. Iowa’s adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Timothy Orr, will also be in Kosovo during this time leading an Iowa National Guard delegation. The Republic of Kosovo became Iowa’s ninth sister state in 2013, and since then more than 100 engagements have been facilitated by the Iowa National Guard, Iowa Sister States and the Kosovo Consulate. If you are interested in this opportunity, contact Kassi Bailey at 515-348-6264 or email her at

Indexed life sales reach new quarterly record  
Indexed life insurance sales for the fourth quarter of 2018 reached an all-time high of $617.4 million, according to Wink’s Sales & Market Report. Indexed life sales in the fourth quarter were up 16.8 percent over the third quarter and more than 7.2 percent higher than in the same period last year. Annual indexed life sales were over $2.1 billion. "Given the recent trends in indexed life product development, it is no surprise to see both a record quarter and a record year for indexed life sales," said Sheryl Moore, president and CEO of Moore Market Intelligence and Wink Inc. Pacific Life Cos. retained its No. 1 ranking in indexed life sales, with a 16.4 percent market share.

Iowa Events Center’s Chris Connolly wins Spectra Venue Management GM of the Year
Chris Connolly, general manager of the Iowa Events Center, is the 2019 Spectra Venue General Manager of the Year, Spectra announced Thursday. The Iowa Events Center was able to add WNBA and NHL preseason games to the 2018 lineup, which included 338 events throughout the center, Spectra said in a statement. "At the Iowa Events Center we are lucky to have Chris Connolly as an inspirational leader. He is an example of what it takes to succeed in the event industry, and we especially appreciate his involvement in our community," said Tom Hockensmith, Polk County Board of Supervisors chair. The Iowa Events Center is owned by Polk County and managed by Spectra Venue Management.

Iowa Insurance Division offers summer internship opportunities
The Iowa Insurance Division is now accepting applications for summer internships. Two internship positions in Des Moines are currently available within the division’s Fraud Bureau and Market Regulation Bureau. As the insurance industry regulator, the Iowa Insurance Division offers interns a unique view into many aspects of the insurance industry while also having the opportunity to serve Iowans, said Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen. Interns will assist staff members with investigating and resolving consumer complaints, data analysis, and many other projects. The internships are unpaid but may be structured to fit school guidelines to be used for college credit and/or work study, depending on the school’s requirements. The application deadline is March 27; applications can be found at
On The Move: Week of March 11
Megan Haugerud (pictured)
Bankers Trust
Promoted to consumer operations officer

Bill Graham
Duncan Green PC
Joined Duncan Green PC

Tom Gayman
Performance Realty LLC
Owner and broker

Submit On the Moves: Submit announcements regarding company promotions, staff additions and changes, including photos, via our online submission form: Click here

Click here to see all of this week's promotions and job changes.


Facebook shares drop as executives quit; Christchurch live-stream shooting stirs outrage
Reuters: Shares of Facebook Inc. fell as much as 5 percent today to their lowest in nearly three months after the surprise departure of Chief Product Officer Chris Cox, at a time when the company is again being scrutinized over its handling of privacy, extremism and political content. Cox led the social network’s business development team and helped define the business model of its messaging service WhatsApp. Also departing is WhatsApp Vice President Chris Daniels. Facebook, Twitter and Google were also facing another round of public discussions over extremist content on their platforms today, after video footage of mass shootings in New Zealand was livestreamed and widely shared online.

U.S. manufacturing sector slowing as economy loses steam
Reuters: U.S. manufacturing output fell for a second straight month in February and factory activity in New York state hit nearly a two-year low this month, offering further evidence of a sharp slowdown in economic growth early in the first quarter.
Scientists have good news and bad news about sit-stand desks

Fast Company: If you’ve been following the trickle of research coming in on sitting vs. standing desks, you know conclusions are murky. Sitting will kill you! But standing will kill you, too! So what about those desks that let you sit or stand? Are they the answer to feeling better at work? Yes, they are. Researchers recently analyzed 53 separate studies conducted on sit-stand desks and discovered that, while sit-stand desks certainly aren’t a panacea – and they probably won’t shed inches off your waistline – they can absolutely have a positive impact on your health and well-being.

June 13: Water Trails Luncheon
Host: West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce
About: Regional leaders see water trails as one of the most significant quality-of-life projects of our generation, fueling economic development, helping attract and retain a workforce, and giving economic incentive to improving water quality. Hear from the following speakers: Rick Tollakson, president and CEO, Hubbell Realty; Hannah Inman, executive director, Great Outdoors Foundation; and Gunnar Olson, communications manager, Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.
When: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Des Moines Golf and Country Club
Learn more

View our full calendar to see the latest curated business and community events, or suggest an event.


Class-action status granted to lawsuit over kids' seclusion
A lawsuit targeting Iowa's use of seclusion and restraints at a state home for male juvenile offenders has been granted class-action status. The lawsuit filed in November 2017 by two advocacy groups says the school is failing to provide adequate mental health care to the boys and instead is administering powerful drugs without proper oversight or consent. The lawsuit alleges that the boys at the Boys State Training School in Eldora are given medications "as a behavioral management tool" that the groups likened to a chemical straitjacket. Read more
Clear skies. Low 24. Winds NW at 10 to 20 mph.

Partly cloudy skies during the morning hours will become overcast in the afternoon. High 47. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph.

Sunny. Highs in the mid-40s and lows in the upper 20s.

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The Iowa Index is an unweighted average of all 21 Iowa-based public companies. Below is a live look at those 21, plus 15 additional companies with large operations in Iowa.
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