Iowa Included In Pilot Program For Declared Disaster Areas
According to a press release from the USDA, rural Iowa residents affected by natural disasters, can join a pilot program aimed at simplifying access to loans and grants for repairing homes damaged by flooding and other natural disasters. The initiative is part of the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to helping low-income families and individuals recover and rebuild their lives in the aftermath of natural calamities.
To be eligible for assistance under this program, homes must be located in designated rural areas within presidentially declared disaster zones. The program encompasses disaster areas that have occurred since July 18, 2022, including counties such as Allamakee, Clayton, Dubuque, Jackson, Scott, Des Moines, and Lee. To determine eligibility, FEMA has published a map outlining the covered areas.
The pilot program introduces several key changes to improve accessibility. Notably, it lowers the minimum age requirement from 62 to 18 for eligible homeowners and increases the maximum lifetime assistance to $40,675. These funds can be used to refinance debt and reimburse repair costs incurred due to the natural disaster, specifically those aimed at removing health or safety hazards linked to the declared disaster. Additionally, the program covers financing costs associated with relocating mobile and manufactured homes.
To apply for this program, individuals must submit their applications directly to the Rural Development State Office in Iowa. Iowa residents can reach out to the program coordinators via IowaHomeLoans@usda.gov or (515) 284-4444 for further information. Detailed information, including application guidelines, can be found on the USDA Rural Development website.
USDA Rural Development has a strong presence across Iowa, with state and area offices strategically located to serve the 1.3 million residents in rural communities. This initiative underscores the agency's broader mission under the Biden-Harris Administration, which includes providing loans and grants to bolster economic opportunities, create jobs, and enhance the quality of life in rural areas. This assistance spans infrastructure development, business growth, housing support, community facilities, and the expansion of high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal, and high-poverty regions.
The launch of this pilot program reflects the government's commitment to empowering rural Iowans to rebuild their homes and communities in the face of natural disasters, while also serving as a potential blueprint for assisting rural areas nationwide in their recovery efforts.