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Home and Community-Based Services Rent Subsidy Program

Giving Iowans A Place to Call Home. A Sense of Community.

The Home and Community-Based Services Rent Subsidy Program provides eligible applicants with a monthly rent assistance payment. The program helps applicants live successfully in the community until they become eligible for other local, state or federal rent assistance.

The program helps an average of 330 Iowans each month to stay in their home and to remain a part of their community.

Eligible HCBS Recipients

  • The person must be 18 years or older.

  • Be an approved participant of Money Follows the Person or one of the home- and community-based services waiver programs, including habilitation services.

  • Provide evidence that they are responsible for paying more than 30% of their income for rent.

  • Provide evidence that they have been determined ineligible, or have been placed on a waiting list, for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rental assistance or other available rental subsidy programs.

  • The person must live in a qualified rental unit.

Ineligible HCBS Recipients

  • Individuals receiving other rental assistance at the time of, or prior to, the time of application to the HCBS Rent Subsidy program are not eligible.

  • An individual who declines a HUD Housing Choice Voucher (also referred to as the Section 8 voucher) or fails to respond to a notice from the public housing authority when a voucher becomes available is no longer eligible for the HCBS Rent Subsidy Program.

Qualified Rental Units

  • A qualified rental unit is an apartment, mobile home (but does not cover lot rent) or private room for which a signed written rental agreement exists and which is governed by Iowa Code Chapter 562A.

  • A qualified rental unit does not include a home owned by a person living in the unit.

Amount of Rent Subsidy

Maximum monthly payment shall be equal to the rent paid, not to exceed 100% of the eligible applicant’s county of residence Fair Market Rent (FMR) as determined by HUD, minus 30% of the gross income of the eligible applicant. 

The FMR shall be that of a one-bedroom unit or a proportionate share of the rental cost in units containing more than one bedroom.

When the Iowa Finance Authority receives an application for a rent subsidy, they determine if the applicant meets the HCBS Rent Subsidy Program rules and if adequate funds are available to provide subsidy for the payment period. If adequate funds are not immediately available, the applicant’s name will be placed on the waiting list for HCBS Rent Subsidy.

For eligible applicants, the following method is used to calculate the monthly rent subsidy:

Calculating Monthly Rent Subsidy

  • Determine Allowable Rent

    Choose either Fair Market Rent or Actual rent, whichever is less.

  • Calculate Proportionate Rent

    This is the Allowable Rent divided by the number of bedrooms in a rental unit, or proportionate share of a rental unit with more than one bedroom.

  • Find Adjusted Proportionate Rent

    Multiply Proportionate Rent by the number of dependents living in the rental unit, as applicable.

  • Compute Monthly Rent Subsidy

    Subtract 30% of your Gross Monthly Income from the Adjusted Proportionate Rent to get your Monthly Rent Subsidy.

Redetermination of Eligibility

The eligibility of persons receiving the rent subsidy will be evaluated at least every 12 months or if one or more of the following occurs:

  • When a change in circumstances occurs that affects eligibility.

  • When the applicant moves from the residence stated on the application.

  • When there is a change of $100 or more in gross monthly income.

  • Notice Recipients of the rent subsidy are required to report within 10 business days any changes that may affect eligibility in the program. Failure to do so may result in responsibility for the repayment of funds and/or termination of the rent subsidy.

Monthly Due Dates

Payments are processed approximately three to five days prior to the end of the month for the next month’s rent payment. Please submit any applications or change of information requests no later than 4:30 p.m. on the 15th day of the month.

Termination of Rent Subsidy

Rent subsidy shall terminate at the end of the month in which any of the following occur:

  • The person does not meet an eligibility requirement.

  • Completion of required documentation is not received by the deadline.

  • No further funds are available for the rent subsidy program.

Application Process

The Iowa Finance Authority accepts applications on an ongoing basis. A waiting list has been established, with applications being processed in the order they are received.

  • Complete Application

    Used for new application, annual renewal and change of information.

  • Income

    Include current written evidence from sources of all income.

  • Ineligibility

    Must include written evidence that the applicant has been determined ineligible, or has been placed on a waiting list for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rental assistance or any other available rental subsidy program, or a notice from the public housing authority that the wait list is closed (must be signed and dated within the past year by housing authority staff member).

  • Lease Agreement

    Must include a current copy of a lease agreement, signed by the landlord and the tenant or legal guardian, with the amount of monthly rent being paid and the number of bedrooms in the dwelling unit.

  • Send Completed Application

    Send completed application with original signatures:

    Iowa Finance Authority
    HCBS Rent Subsidy Program
    1963 Bell Ave., Suite 200
    Des Moines, Iowa 50315

For questions about HCBS Rent Subsidy Program reach out to:

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