Pam Carmichael

August 13, 2021
Iowan of the Week
Executive Director of HOME Inc.

Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize Pam Carmichael, a tireless advocate for stable, affordable, and quality housing, as Iowan of the Week. 

Pam’s passion for housing advocacy started while she was studying political science, sociology, and social work at the University of Iowa. In her time as a student, Pam counseled renters at a tenants’ rights organization and worked on housing ordinances that later became law. In 1980, she started working as a housing counselor at HOME Inc., a nonprofit housing organization in Des Moines.

Pam served as the executive director of HOME Inc. from 1984 until her upcoming retirement this year, and she has participated in various advocacy efforts through this role. She has worked on multiple legislative projects, from pushing for infrastructure improvements, to creating Iowa’s Shelter Assistance Fund. Pam also helped create the Polk County Housing Trust Fund and the Des Moines and Iowa Coalitions for the Homeless. Those are just a couple of examples of all the work Pam has done. 

Her breadth of knowledge in housing issues spans from homebuyer education to counseling, revitalization programs, landlord education and more. Pam’s expertise has been incredibly valuable and helpful to thousands of people in Des Moines, and she said she feels very blessed to see the number of people she’s helped. 

Pam mentioned she’s most proud of having worked with so many incredible colleagues who also believe everyone has a right to safe, affordable housing. She also appreciates the caring people in Des Moines, and the way that the community comes together in a crisis. 

As for her post-retirement plans, Pam is taking at least one year to work on her own house for a change. After a year, she’ll get back into helping people, whether that be in housing or mental health services. 

I’d like to take a moment to congratulate Pam on her retirement and thank her for all the work she has done to help our families in Des Moines. Pam said: “Home is a place we all need, and without it, we won’t flourish,” and I completely agree with her. That’s why I will continue to fight in Congress to support affordable housing initiatives, just as Pam has done her whole career. It is my pleasure to recognize Pam Carmichael as Iowan of the Week.