If you are a renter in Iowa and times have become tougher for you as a direct result of the pandemic, there's a new assistance program out there for you.

CBS2 explains the details of the program through the Iowa Finance Authority, which begins taking applications in March.

First, you can take the Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program precheck prior to that to determine if you meet initial requirements.  If eligible, you'll receive a notification when the full application is available.

The requirements for eligibility are simply these:

  • Current renters earning no more than 80 percent of their county’s area median income;
  • You have experienced a documented financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • You can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability which may include a past due utility or rent notice or eviction notice.
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Assistance available through the program includes:

  • Rent assistance for past due and future payments.
  • Utility Payments owed at the time of application (no future payments).
  • Eligible past due rent and utility payments may date back to costs incurred no earlier than March 13, 2020. Future rent payments may be awarded for up to three months at a time and additional requests will require a subsequent application. Eligible renters may receive a total of up to 12 months of combined rent and utility assistance through the program.

The Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which was enacted by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, passed by Congress late last year, is providing $195 million in funds toward this assistance program.

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