IOWA (WHO) — Sixty-one Iowa communities will split nearly $20 million in federal funding to provide housing specifically in the downtown area of small towns.

The awards were made through the Downtown Housing Grant program. The program provides support for downtown revitalization through new housing opportunities in communities with populations of 30,000 or below.

Through the program, 466 new homes are expected to be created in many communities, including some in Siouxland. The city of Cherokee is receiving $600,000 to create 20 new housing units, Onawa is also receiving $600,000 to create 10 new units. Other Siouxland communities receiving grants include Rock Valley, Rock Rapids, Sibley, Mapleton, Manning, Logan, Emmetsburg, and Coon Rapids.

A release from the Iowa Economic Development Authority stated that projects were scored on a competitive basis on criteria including appropriateness, funding and partnerships, impact on housing in the community and population size.

“This program provides a unique and transformative opportunity to both revitalize our communities and increase our housing stock across the state,” said Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds. “Communities have answered the call for unique and inspiring housing projects, and I look forward to seeing them come to fruition.”

The money for the grant program comes from the American Rescue Act that was signed by President Biden last year. Democratic US Congresswoman Cindy Axne was the only Iowa member of Congress to vote in favor of that bill.

You can see the full list of awards here on the Iowa Economic Development Agency’s website. According to the Governor’s office, 466 new homes will be created with the funds.

Wesley Thoene contributed to this report.