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COVID-19 Iowa Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program

Assistance for Iowa Renters and Homeowners

Governor Reynolds has allocated federal CARES Act funds to assist Iowans who have been economically impacted by COVID-19 and may be facing housing hardships. This program will provide short-term relief to income-eligible renters and homeowners who are at risk of eviction or foreclosure.

Application deadline: Dec. 4, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

Available Assistance

  • Rental Assistance

    Rental assistance for up to four months. This can include months in arrears no earlier than the April 1 rent payment, (lesser of 4 months actual rent or $3,200 maximum).

    – Includes manufactured home rent and lot rent
  • Mortgage Payment Assistance

    Mortgage assistance for up to four months (this can include up to two months in arrears) beginning with April 1 mortgage payment, ($3,600 maximum).

Eligibility At a Glance

  • Current Renters and Homeowners

  • At risk of eviction or foreclosure due to a documented COVID-19-related loss of income on or after March 17, 2020

  • Household income may not exceed: 80% MFI at time of application

Required Documentation

  • Pay stub or other appropriate documentation prior to and after loss of income

  • Latest mortgage statement (foreclosure assistance only)

COVID Recovery Iowa

COVID Recovery Iowa offers free virtual counseling and assistance for all Iowans affected by COVID‑19.

Phone: 1-844-775-WARM | Online help

Spanish Help Line: 531-800-3687
Por Favor llame su llamada Telefonica sera respondida en espanol.

If you are at imminent risk of eviction or foreclosure and need legal assistance, Iowa Legal Aid may be able to assist you at no cost.

Phone: 1-800-532-1275 | Online Help

Iowa Eviction Education Flyer

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the timeline for applications?

Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis and assistance will be provided to eligible applicants on a first come, first ready to proceed basis until all funds have been exhausted. Funds will not be held for incomplete applications.

2. A member of my household received the $600 extra a week in federal unemployment benefits, am I eligible for assistance?

Yes, applicant households who received the additional $600 per week as a federal stimulus benefit may be eligible for the program. Applicants with an adult member of their household who received the $600 benefit in one or more payments in June and/or July are ineligible to receive rent or mortgage assistance in arrears but may receive assistance beginning with the August payment. Application submissions may be sampled to undergo an independent review by Iowa Workforce Development to confirm the applicant household’s CARES Act Unemployment Benefits status.  

3. I have an eviction or foreclosure pending, can this program assist me?

This program can only assist Iowans who have had a job loss or other reduction in income on or after March 17, 2020 as a result of COVID-19. Assistance is available beginning with April 1 rent or mortgage payment and not before. However, applicants who received the $600 additional federal CARES Act stimulus unemployment benefits in June and/or July cannot be awarded assistance for rent or mortgage payments due prior to August 1. If you need legal assistance, Iowa Legal Aid may be able to assist you at no cost. Contact: Phone: 800-332-0419 | Online

4. What is required for proof of a COVID-19 related loss of income after March 17, 2020?

The application requires a self-certification of income, which will be reviewed along with supporting documentation by the application review team. Applicants must acknowledge that they are aware that it is a criminal violation under Iowa law to make a false statement in writing for the purpose of procuring assistance from a state agency.

The following documentation is required for proof of loss of income:

  • Pay stub or other income documentation prior to job loss or reduction in income.
  • Pay stub or other income documentation after reduction in income dated after 3/17/2020.
5. How will payments be made?

Once an application is approved and the landlord verification is received, a single, one-time payment will be issued directly to the landlord or mortgage servicer.

6. I’m a student, can I receive assistance through the program?

Eligible households must contain at least one occupant who is not a student, has not been a student, and will not be a student during the current and/or upcoming calendar year. A student is defined as someone, regardless of age, who attends school full time for any part of five or more months in a calendar year (months need not be consecutive.) Some exclusions apply, as noted within the application.

7. What types of rental properties are eligible for assistance?

The following types of rental properties are available for eviction prevention assistance through the program:

  • Apartment rent
  • Single-family home rent
  • Manufactured home rent
  • Manufactured home lot rent
Sublet or sublease arrangements are not eligible for eviction prevention assistance under the program.
8. What types of mortgages are eligible for assistance through the program?

The applicant must be an owner of record, title or interest.

Eligible: 

  • Government insured or conventional mortgages
  • Mortgages through Habitat for Humanity affiliates

Ineligible:

  • Manufactured home loans
  • Contract sales
9. If I receive eviction assistance through this program, can I still be evicted?

Before a landlord can receive a rental payment, they must certify that they will not evict the household for nonpayment for the months of assistance received through the COVID-19 Iowa Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program.

10. Can late fees be included?

Yes, assistance through the program can include a combination of late fees and payment assistance, so long as the total assistance per household does not exceed $3,200 for eviction prevention and $3,000 for foreclosure prevention assistance.

11. The status of my application says “pending landlord verification” what does this mean?

In order for an application for eviction prevention assistance to be approved, the landlord must complete the online verification to certify the rental information on the application is correct, provide further details and certify that they agree to the terms of the assistance. If your landlord does not submit the certification within ten days of the date of your application submission, the application will be denied.

12. Can I apply for assistance on a second home or a vacation home?

No, the assisted property must be the applicant’s primary residence.

13. Can I apply for eviction prevention assistance if I live with roommates?

Yes, you may apply for rental assistance if you live with one or more roommates, but you can only be awarded funding to assist with that portion of the rent payment for which you are personally responsible.

14. What should I do if I realize I made a mistake in my application after submission?

Please do not submit another application since duplicate applications will only slow the review process. Instead, email the housing recovery team explaining the error and providing the correct information. Be sure to include your first and last name and complete address in the email and enter the subject line of your email as “EFP APPLICATION CORRECTION.”

15. What can I do while I wait to receive a response to my application?
  1. Notify your landlord that you have applied for assistance under Iowa’s COVID-19 Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program
  2. Log into your application at any time to check its review status.
  3. We also recommend that you check your email inbox frequently (at least daily), including the spam folder, to make sure you are seeing, and responding to, any communications that may have been sent by the program administrator handling your application, as well as emails from the Iowa Finance Authority.
16. If I was determined to be ineligible for assistance, can I apply again if my circumstances have changed?

Yes, you can create a subsequent application request for assistance which will restart the process for you. A change in circumstance or documentation may result in a change in your eligibility. If a previous application was determined ineligible due to misrepresentation of eligibility, you would not be eligible to reapply.

17. I applied for assistance under the state’s COVID-19 Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program. Why am I being contacted by another agency?

IFA has contracted with partner organizations to provide administrative support under the program and may contact applicants to request follow-up information.

18. Do I have to tell my landlord that I applied for assistance?

Tenants are strongly encouraged to communicate their inability to pay any or all their rent to their landlord as soon as they know that to be the case and to notify their landlord they have submitted an Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program application. Before your application for eviction prevention assistance can be approved, your landlord must complete the required certification and agree to the terms of assistance within ten days of the tenant’s application, so it is in your interest to notify your landlord of your application submission.

19. Am I guaranteed assistance once I apply?

No, an application is not a guarantee of assistance. Eligible applicants will receive assistance if funding is available. Complete applications are reviewed on a first come, first ready to proceed basis. Only fully completed applications that provide all required documentation will be reviewed for eligibility.

Applicants who receive a notice of incomplete application with instructions to provide missing information must successfully provide all necessary information to move their application forward. Funding will not be reserved for incomplete applications. Applicants who fail to provide all required information or are found ineligible based on the program’s requirements will not receive assistance.

Landlords must also complete the required certification and agree to the terms of assistance. Failure by a landlord to complete the required certification and agree to the terms of assistance within ten days of the tenant’s application will result in the denial of the application. Applications that could be considered eligible may not receive assistance if funding is no longer available under the program based on demand.

20. I do not have a computer. How can I apply for assistance?

Applications must be submitted using the online application portal. Please contact a trusted friend or family member or your local library for assistance in applying. Applications submitted by email, U.S. mail, fax, or any other means will be ineligible and will not be reviewed.

21. What about assistance with property taxes on the home I own which is not mortgaged?

The EFP program funds cannot be used to pay delinquent property taxes. There is, however a moratorium on penalties and interest on property taxes until June 26, 2020.

There are relief programs such as property tax credit, suspension, or abatement for Iowans who are elderly or disabled, more information is available here.

You may also check with your local tax authority to see if there is any relief available.

22. Can a landlord apply for rental assistance on behalf of their tenant(s)?
No. An eligible tenant must be the applicant.
23. What is the difference between Eviction Prevention and Foreclosure Prevention?
Eviction Prevention helps a tenant prevent eviction through rental assistance payments made directly to the tenant’s landlord. Foreclosure Prevention helps a homeowner avoid foreclosure through mortgage assistance payments made directly to the homeowner’s mortgage loan servicer.
24. The Landlord Verification asks me to provide my Bank Name, Routing Number and Account Number. How do I know my bank's routing number?
Your bank’s routing number is always a 9-digit number found at the bottom of your checks. Generally, the routing number is the first set of numbers on the check but may be the middle set of numbers on business account checks. You may also contact your bank directly and ask them to provide the correct routing number for ACH payments. Providing an incorrect routing number will delay the deposit of the rental assistance to your account.
25. What happens to the rental assistance paid to my landlord if I decide to terminate my lease and move before the end of the paid rental assistance time period? For example, what if I receive rental assistance through this program for June, July, August and September but decide to terminate my lease and move in August?
Your landlord will be required to repay to the Iowa Finance Authority any rental assistance which cannot be applied to your current lease due to termination of the lease by either party.
26. Can I receive assistance under the program to pay for my security deposit and first/last month's rent so I can move into a new apartment?
No, security deposits and first/last months’s rent that a landlord may require to be paid when entering into a new lease are not eligible for assistance under the program. The program is intended to prevent evictions under an existing lease and help Iowans experiencing a COVID-19-related income loss maintain their current rental housing.
27. Will funds received through a state COVID-19 relief program be taxed as income?

Iowa Small Business Relief Grants have been granted state tax exemption by the Iowa legislature. More information will be forthcoming as guidance becomes available in regard to state taxes for other COVID-19 relief programs. Please reference the Internal Revenue Service Guidance for information on federal taxes as they relate to COVID-19 relief funds.

Application

Applicants are required to complete the pre-application screening below. Upon successful completion of this screening checklist, the applicant will be provided with the link to the full application, prior to accessing the full application.

Pre-Application Checklist

Application Status

Check the status of your application using the links below.

Application for Eviction Prevention

Application for Foreclosure Prevention

Reporting

The number of Iowa renters and homeowners who have been assisted through the COVID-19 Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention program was last updated Nov. 17, 2020.

See the updated numbers
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