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Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program Utility Provider Information

The Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program will provide financial assistance to eligible Iowans for rent and utility costs.

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.

IMPORTANT

Utility providers with renters in need of help with past due payments should:

  • Provide past due customers with information about the program.
    • Please note that customers must be current renters to be eligible for assistance.
  • Encourage customers to take the eligibility precheck.
    • Sign up to receive notification for when the full online application will be available, currently scheduled for March.
    • When available, tenants unable to complete the online application may have a family member or friend complete the application on their behalf (all required documentation must be submitted with application).

Utility Provider Participation

The application portal being used for the new program was also used in a program administered in the fall of 2020 called the Iowa Residential Utility Disruption Prevention Program. Many electric, natural gas and water providers were involved in that program and have portal accounts.

If you are a provider that is already set up in that system, the contacts who already have portal accounts and received the emails will be retained in the new program. Verified utility contacts will receive program emails, have a log-in access to the application portal for their customers, and will receive further instruction about participation in the near future.

Utility Assistance

  • Eligible utility types: electricity, natural gas, propane or fuel oil, water, sewer and trash removal
  • Past-due utility costs incurred after March 13, 2020.
  • Utility assistance cannot be applied to future months for prospective costs.

Details

  • Payments for utility costs will be made directly to utility providers and applied to the customers’ accounts.
  • Renters may apply for utility assistance only, rent assistance only or both.

More details will be available soon.

Stay up to date

Sign up to receive information about how you can help your customers get access to the assistance available through the Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance program.

Sign Up Here

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will I be notified if one of my customers applies for assistance?

Yes, customer applications will be received in an online portal. When an individual applies, they will select their utility provider(s) under utility type the drop-down lists provided. This selection will then be used to prompt communications with that provider about applications, any needed verifications and payments.

2. How do I ensure I will be contacted if one of my customers applies for assistance?

Complete the sign up form to receive information about how participate as a utility provider and receive notices about customers that are applicants.

3. If I was a provider that participated in the previous residential utility disruption prevention program, do I need to contact someone to get access to this program?

No, If you are a provider that is already set up in that system, the contacts who already have portal accounts and received the emails will be retained in the new program.

4. How will payments be made?

Once an application is approved, a payment will be issued directly to an eligible applicant’s utility provider(s). The provider(s) will deposit those funds in the applicant’s account as a credit applied towards the outstanding and current account balance.

5. Do renters have to have been impacted by COVID-19 to be eligible for this program?

Yes. Renters must demonstrate negative economic or financial hardship due directly or indirectly to COVID-19

6. If renters don't need help making rent payments, can they still apply for help with unpaid utility bills?

Yes. Renters may still apply for utility assistance only.

7. Can the relief be used to pay for expenses other than rent and utilities?

No. Funds can only be used for rent and utility assistance. 

8. Can the relief be used to pay rent owed and/or unpaid utility bills?

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.

9. Can renters receive utility assistance for future months?

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.

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