(The Center Square) – Iowa state officials reminded renters to immediately apply for state aid through the Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program if they are at risk of eviction, as the federal eviction moratorium expired July 31.
“Our team immediately launched eviction, foreclosure and utility assistance programs that helped more than 18,000 COVID-19 impacted Iowans through a total of more than $35 million in CARES Act funds and I remain steadfast in my commitment to assisting Iowa renters in need,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said in the news release issued Aug. 2.
“The Iowa Finance Authority has worked through the initial influx of applications received through the Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program, and all applications submitted to date currently have a case manager actively reviewing them,” the release said.
The program has received 9,000 applications and assisted more than 3,000 eligible households in 91 counties, spending more than $9 million to date, the release said.
Eligible renters (except Polk County or Des Moines residents) who are at risk of eviction due to financial hardship can receive rent or utility assistance for up to 1 year in back payment assistance. The program’s eligibility requirements and application are at iowahousingrecovery.com. Polk County and Des Moines residents may be eligible for the IMPACT Community Action Partnership Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
Reynolds, the Iowa Finance Authority and Iowa Legal Aid said renters should also contact Iowa Legal Aid to ask if they can receive free legal assistance.
“Letting the rental assistance system work is in the best economic interests of everyone involved,” Iowa Legal Aid Litigation Director and General Counsel Alex Kornya said in the release.
The nonprofit “strongly encourages” landlords to help tenants with the assistance program application process and wait until they receive a final decision from the state regarding the application before deciding whether to evict.
The Iowa Finance Authority received a $195 million allocation from the Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program, administered by the Department of Treasury, under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which Congress passed in late 2020.
Reynolds lifted an Iowa eviction moratorium in May 2020 that she had enacted in a March 2020 emergency order.