DES MOINES, Iowa – On Monday, Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) announced two competitive funds available for rural communities with a population under 20,000. Specifically, funding of up to $400,000 has been allocated to the following two funds for the current fiscal year (FY) 2021 through FY 2022:
- Rural Innovation Grant Program – Provides up to $300,000 in grants supporting creative, non-traditional ideas that focus on current issues and challenges faced by rural communities associated with the themes of community investment, growth, and connection.
- Rural Housing Assessment Grant Program – Provides up to $100,000 to support the use of publicly available online information through the “Profile of Iowa” tool and rural community efforts to interpret this hard data with supplemental information, as well as to implement through changes to development codes, local ordinances and housing incentives specific to their community needs in partnership with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
“The Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative has been instrumental in advancing projects that are essential for growing our rural communities, like expanding broadband and creating affordable housing,” said Gov. Reynolds. “The Rural Innovation Grant program and the Rural Housing Assessment Grant program will spark innovation in small communities across Iowa, providing the next generation of rural leaders additional tools for success.”
Guidelines and scoring rubric for both programs are available on the Office of Rural Revitalization’s website. The programs, defined in Iowa Administrative Code, are administered by the Center for Rural Revitalization, a division of IEDA, in consultation with the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative Task Forces.
Applications for FY 2021 are currently being accepted via iowagrants.gov and are due by April 16, 2021. Applications will be scored by a volunteer panel that will include the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative Task Force members and expert professionals. Successful applicants will be informed in June.
“The grant programs developed by the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative are ensuring there is opportunity and prosperity in every corner of our state,” said Lt. Governor Adam Gregg, co-chair of the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative. “These projects will keep us moving in the right direction to expand, grow and revitalize rural Iowa.”