Gov. Reynolds announces nearly $9 million to assist low-income Iowans in preventing evictions, regaining housing

Iowa News

FILE – In this Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, file photo, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds updates the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak during a news conference in Johnston, Iowa. Iowa is planning to use millions of dollars in federal pandemic funds on a long-term plan to improve data management across state agencies, a second information technology project that may not fit the purpose of the aid. State and federal auditors this week told Iowa’s executive branch to return millions of dollars to the state’s $1.25 billion coronavirus relief fund that have been spent on new accounting and human resources software. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) — Governor Kim Reynolds announced on Friday that a total of almost $9 million in assistance is available to help low-income Iowans who are at imminent risk of eviction and those who lost housing to quickly regain housing stability.

The funding will also provide support for homeless shelter operations and are made available through a supplemental appropriation to the Emergency Solutions Grant program through the federal CARES Act.

“Throughout the pandemic, our focus has always been on protecting the lives and livelihoods of Iowans,” said Gov. Reynolds. “The funds announced [Friday] will assist those at risk of eviction while also providing support to homeless shelters supporting Iowa’s homeless population at this critical time. I appreciate the continued collaboration with our federal partners in support of the state’s pandemic response.”

“Providing housing assistance for Iowans in need remains a top priority,” said Debi Durham, executive director of Iowa Finance Authority. “The ability for Iowans to thrive and prosper begins with a safe, stable place to call home and the program announced today will be essential in helping Iowans get back on their feet.”

The Emergency Solutions Grant program will help to prevent households from becoming homeless due to evictions.

The program will also help people who have lost their home to eviction regain rental housing as well as provide homeless shelters with financial support to assist with operations and outreach as they work to serve Iowans in need and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

To be eligible for eviction prevention assistance to avoid homelessness, they must have an income of 50% of the area median income or less and be at imminent risk of eviction in addition to meeting other eligibility criteria.

For those to be eligible for assistance in rapidly regaining housing, they must be currently experiencing homelessness.

Some examples of assistance available to those eligible includes:

  • Rent and utility payments, including in arrears
  • Legal assistance
  • Application fees
  • Security and utility deposits
  • Moving costs
  • Case management
  • Credit repair

All financial assistance is paid directly to landlords and service providers.

Individuals who are in need of assistance must apply through the Coordinated Entry help line in their area, which is available along with more eligibility and program information by clicking here.

There have been 35 agencies who’ve been awarded a total of $8.8 million in Emergency Solutions Grant program funds and to see the full list of awards click here.

The assistance will remain available until all of the funds are exhausted or by September 30, 2022.

The Emergency Solutions Grant program is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Iowa Finance Authority in partnership with participating service agencies in the state.

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