Please note: Residents of Polk County or the City of Des Moines are ineligible to apply for the Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program. More information on the program that may assist Polk County and City of Des Moines residents is available here.
Past Due Payments
Future Payments: Not available.
Past Due Payments: Electricity, gas, propane or fuel oil, water, sewer and/or trash removal.
Future Payments: Not available.
Eligible renters may apply for rent assistance only, utility assistance only or both.
All past due payments are for costs incurred no earlier than March 13, 2020.
Renter households with incomes of no more than 80% of Area Median Income.
One or more individuals in the household has qualified for unemployment benefits.
OR has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs or experienced other financial hardship due directly or indirectly to the coronavirus outbreak.
The household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability which may include a past due utility or rent notice or eviction notice.
Renter households that have incomes above 80% of Area Median Income.
Renter households in which no household members qualify for unemployment benefits at time of application or the household has not experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs or experienced other financial hardship due directly or indirectly to the coronavirus outbreak.
Households which cannot provide all required documentation.
Renter households with sublet or sublease arrangements.
Submit an application
Landlords will need to complete a portion of the application in order for your application to get reviewed
Please note that the program is expected to have funds available through Sept. of 2022. Complete applications that include a household member that has been unemployed for 90 days or more at the time of application or households with an annual income at or below 50% of the Area Median Income will be prioritized and reviewed first. Applications for rental assistance must have a landlord verification received prior to being considered complete and eligible for review.
The first payments through the program are expected to be made to landlords and utility service providers beginning in late April. Landlords and utility providers are strongly encouraged to pause eviction proceedings and utility disconnections until application review is complete and payments can be made.
On September 4, 2020, the CDC published an emergency order to temporarily halt residential evictions. The CDC moratorium has been extended until June 30, 2021. More information on the CDC moratorium can be found here.
No, an application is not a guarantee of assistance. Complete applications are reviewed on a first come, first ready to proceed basis. Only fully completed applications that provide all required documentation in a clear, readable format 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 14 days of the tenant’s application may result in a delay in assistance to eligible applicants.
No. Iowans residing in either Polk County or the City of Des Moines are ineligible to apply for the Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program at this time. More information on the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) that may assist Polk County and City of Des Moines residents is available here.
Yes. You must demonstrate negative economic or financial hardship due directly or indirectly to COVID-19
Yes. You may still apply for utility assistance only.
Yes. You may apply for rent assistance only.
The receipt of unemployment benefits does not disqualify you from the program. If one or more individuals within your household is qualified for unemployment benefits, you may be eligible for assistance so long as you meet all other program eligibility requirements.
No. Funds can only be used for rent and utility assistance.
Yes. Funds will be used to first pay unpaid rent and utility bills. Funds cannot be applied to past due rent or utility costs that were incurred prior to March 13, 2020.
The program allows for up to 12 months of financial assistance. All past-due rent and utility costs incurred after March 13, 2020 will be eligible. Rent and utility assistance cannot be applied to future months for prospective costs. Funding under the program will be available through at least September 30, 2021, unless all available funds are exhausted prior to that date.
No, there is no set deadline for application submissions. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until all funds are exhausted or the Iowa Finance Authority announces a pause in application submissions.
Payments will be made directly to landlords and utility providers to be applied to the tenant’s rent or utility payments owed.
No. The federal regulations only allow the assistance to be provided to eligible households that are obligated to pay rent on a residential unit.
No. The program requires that assistance be provided only to eligible households that are obligated to pay rent on a residential dwelling.
A tenant renting a residential unit under a “rent-to-own” agreement, under which the renter has the option (or obligation) to purchase the property at the end of the lease term, may be eligible for assistance provided that a member of their household:
The income calculation is based on your adjusted gross income.
No, the assisted rental property must be the applicant’s primary residence.
Yes, if it is determined that there has been an overpayment or misrepresentation and/or fraud, the Iowa Finance Authority will seek reimbursement.
For rent, applicants will need to select the months of past due of assistance requested
For utilities, applicants are expected to select which months their balance owed represents. Determining these months may require contacting your utility provider or reviewing previous bills. The applicant should select months based on their own documentation or best estimate. The applicant should select more months than the current month, unless the utility bill upload demonstrates that the balance owed is for the most recent billing cycle’s usage and costs. Application reviewers reserve the ability to add months to the application or make inquiries to the applicant or utility for more information to confirm the month requests are correct.
Rent and utility assistance months will be combined to determine the total number and ensure no more than twelve are covered, if approved. Assistance for both rent and utilities for the same month will count as one month. If the applicant reaches their maximum of twelve months for utility arrears and rental assistance, they will not be able to apply again.
Yes, the primary tenant applicant is required to upload proof of identification.
A full list of acceptable household income and other required documentation is available here.
The following types of rental properties are available for assistance through the program if an eligible tenant household is leasing the property from a landlord, (there must be a current lease in place).
Please note: Sublet or sublease arrangements are not eligible for eviction prevention assistance under the program.
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 Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program. The Certification Not to Evict will expire on the last day of the month in which the tenant receives rental assistance through the program.
While late fees will not be included in the assistance provided, the program requires the landlord to waive all late fees and other penalties incurred to date in order to participate in the program.
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.
Yes, you are eligible to apply even if you applied for and received assistance through the previous Iowa Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program or Iowa Residential Utility Disruption Prevention Program.
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 Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program application. Before your application for rental assistance can be approved, your landlord must complete the required certification and agree to the terms of assistance, so it is in your interest to notify your landlord of your application submission.
No, the tenant must apply separately.
No, security deposits and first/last months’ 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.
Yes. Tenant households that receive a monthly federal subsidy (e.g. Housing Choice Voucher, Public Housing, Project-Based Section 8, USDA Rural Development are eligible to apply and will be required to upload a Tenant Income Certification (TIC) dated on or after April 1, 2020. Acceptable forms may include HUD-50058, HUD-50059 or RD 3560-8.
Iowa Legal Aid provides free legal assistance to eligible Iowans. You should contact them as soon as possible to discuss your specific situation. The federal CDC moratorium on evictions for nonpayment of rent has been extended through June 30 2021. You can learn more here: 2020 Coronavirus Outbreak: What you need to know | Iowa Legal Aid
A notice of eviction is not required but may be used to demonstrate your household is at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability. A past due rent or utility notice can also be submitted as acceptable documentation.
An eligible tenant may be awarded up to 12 months of rental assistance. There is no dollar amount cap. Any amount of assistance awarded will be based upon the tenant’s rent amount as identified in their lease, including any rent owed in arrears.
Yes. Receipt of this email means that your landlord has registered your address in the application portal and completed the required landlord verification information. You need to log into the portal to complete the portions specific to the applicant in order for the application to be submitted and reviewed.
If there is a single lease, the income of all adult household members living at the rental property address should be included when determining household income. The income of all adults living at the address should be included for purposes of determining income eligibility under the program, whether or not their name(s) appear on the lease.
For roommates under separate leases, roommates should not be considered as members of the primary applicant’s household. However, if the primary applicant is claimed as a dependent on the income tax return of a parent or anyone else, they are considered a part of that larger household and must provide documentation of the entire household’s income, preferably through a filed IRS Form 1040 for calendar year 2020.
Before applying, please contact your utility provider and attempt to enter a payment plan for the balance owed. Many providers offer and encourage this option to their customers. In many cases, entering a payment plan and making those payments is the best strategy to avoid disconnection of utility services and remain in good standing.
Eligible utilities include:
Utility assistance is available for utility bills owed to utility providers at the time of application. Utility providers that require payment before services can be continued (such as propane vendors) are included in this determination.
Yes. However, this program can only assist with debt that has not been covered by another federal program. You will be asked to indicate if you have received LIHEAP payments on the application to allow the review team to verify previous assistance received.
Yes, you are eligible to apply. Applicants are strongly encouraged to notify their utility providers that they have applied for assistance from this program. A pending application does not guarantee that assistance will be provided or halt utility disconnections.
Yes, you are eligible to apply even if you applied for and received assistance through the previous Iowa Residential Utility Disruption Prevention Program.
No. The application will ask the name of the utility account holder and this must be visible on the utility bill that is uploaded to the application. If the utility account holder is not the applicant or a household member listed in the application, the applicant may receive further inquiries from the case manager on this part of the application. The household must be responsible for paying the utility bill.
The applicant should log into the portal and submit the document along with comments about the request for consideration by the case manager.
Applicants are expected to select which months their balance owed represents and the request cannot cover more than twelve months of costs. Determining these months may require contacting your utility provider or reviewing previous bills. The applicant should select months based on their own documentation or best estimate. Applicants will also be asked about assistance received from other programs and payments made to their account for the months selected.
Applicants should ensure they have the required documentation, which includes the complete utility bill or similar documentation for propane that verifies the account and financial request.
You should provide any documentation available that demonstrates you are a propane customer of the provider you selected in the application. It should include the account holder name, address and account number if one exists.
Possibly, if your household meets the eligibility criteria and has past due utility costs. The purpose of this program is to assist low-income households that were economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The full eligibility requirements are on our website. However, you should evaluate the options with your utility provider for a payment plan or other requirements to ensure continuation of service. If you pay your full bill at this elevated cost, this program is focused on amounts owed and cannot reimburse an applicant for their bills already paid before they applied.
For utilities, applicants are expected to select which months their balance owed represents. Determining these months may require contacting your utility provider or reviewing previous bills. The applicant should select months based on their own documentation or best estimate. The applicant should select more months than the current month, unless the utility bill upload demonstrates that the balance owed is for the most recent billing cycle’s usage and costs. Application case reviewers reserve the ability to add months to the application or make inquiries to the applicant or utility for more information to confirm the month requests are correct.
If you have applied for assistance within the months covered in your application request, you should list the amounts of that assistance received. This will not counted against your eligible request and current balance due in the review process. The application separately asks about payments made to capture what you have paid toward your utility bill in the months selected. These fields of information are needed for federal program requirements.
It is possible that the application review team will request clarification or additional documentation. Applicants should monitor their email account provided in the application regularly and check junk mail to ensure that notifications from the application portal are not marked as spam. These notices will instruct the applicants to log into their application and provide the requested information or documentation. Applicants will be given a deadline to respond to these requests.
Call the application support team (855-300-5885 or 515-348-8813) with a description of your technical difficulty. Please refer to the Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program Tenant Application Guide for more information. You should ensure you are using the latest, most up to date version of internet browser and are using a reliable internet connection.
Please review the job listings and resources below and contact an IowaWORKS Center in your area if you would like assistance with your job search.
This project is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award numbers ERA0184 and ERA0440 awarded to the Iowa Finance Authority by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.