The Iowa Finance Authority will be administering $195 million in rent and utility assistance through the Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The program, known as the Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program, may provide eligible Iowans with assistance for a period of up to twelve months.
Program Timing: We are awaiting required program guidance to be issued by the U.S. Treasury. As soon as this guidance is available, the program will open for applications as soon as possible.
Please note that Polk County and the City of Des Moines will be administering the program locally. Therefore, Iowans residing in either Polk County or the City of Des Moines will be 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 will be available here.
Eligible renters may apply for rent assistance only, utility assistance only or both, rent and utility assistance.
Renter households with incomes of no more than 80% of Area Median Income (AMI).
One or more individuals in the household has qualified for unemployment benefits
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
An online application will be available soon. Please check back for updates.
Landlords may apply on behalf of tenants meeting the eligibility requirements, so long as the tenant cosigns the application, the landlord provides documentation to the tenant, and the payments are used to satisfy the tenant’s rental obligation to the owner.
Renters in need of assistance are encouraged to take the new Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance program’s eligibility precheck tool to determine if they meet the initial eligibility criteria, and if eligible, to sign-up to receive notification when the full application is available, which is currently anticipated to be sometime in March.
Landlords will play a critical role in connecting renters in need with the assistance available through the Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program.Learn More Here
The Iowa Finance Authority is pleased to partner with utility providers to ensure that Iowa renters who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are in need of assistance with past due utility bills are able to receive the help they need.Learn More 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 21 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 paid first with any remaining months of eligibility available for prospective (future) rent assistance in up to three month increments. Applicants will be required to reapply every three months for future rental assistance. 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 program requires that assistance be provided only to eligible households that are obligated to pay rent on a residential dwelling.
The income calculation is based on your adjusted gross income.
No, the assisted rental property must be the applicant’s primary residence.
Yes, the primary tenant applicant is required to upload proof of identification. Please see a list of acceptable documents here. If the landlord is submitting an application on behalf of an eligible tenant, the landlord must also upload proof of identification.
A full list of acceptable household income documentation is available here.
A summary of additional 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.
Yes, landlords can apply for assistance on behalf of a tenant(s) so long as each tenant signs a tenant cosign form and provides all documentation required for the application. The landlord also must complete the landlord verification, certify that the funds will be applied to the tenant’s rental obligation, and agree to the Certification Not to Evict.
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.
No, households that receive a monthly federal subsidy where their rent is adjusted according to changes in income, are ineligible to apply for assistance through the program.
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 March 31, 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.
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, subject to any further guidance from the federal government.
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 doe snot 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.
The State of Iowa offers a variety of resources to assist Iowans with re-entering the workforce. These services include resume writing assistance, training programs and real-time job listings, including temporary jobs available for COVID-19 impacted workers.
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.