Iowa Offers Rent and Mortgage Help

Jun 30, 2020

The state of Iowa is offering a lifeline to people hurt by the pandemic, but so far very few have accepted. Several weeks ago, the Iowa Finance Authority opened its eviction and  foreclosure prevention program.

Roger Pavey, Executive Director of Community Action of Eastern Iowa, says it's for people who've lost income due to the pandemic, and have not received federal unemployment benefits under the CARES Act.

"Sometimes it's just people choosing to not file for unemployment because they have some other, still lesser opportunity but maybe better than drawing unemployment. And then we have a lot of people who maybe they were doing gig type work - Uber, Lyft, Grub Hub, babysitting - you know informally on the side."   

His agency serves Scott, Muscatine, Clinton, and  Cedar counties, and as of last week just 42 people from these four had applied. And he's heard similar reports from other agencies across the state. One possible explantion is applying through the Iowa Finance Authority is, in his words, is "cumbersome," so his agency will help people apply.

Income limits vary by county, and in Scott County applicants for a family of four must earn 26,200 dollars per year or less. Those who qualify can receive up to four months of rent or mortgage payments, up to a maximum of 3,200 dollars. 

The deadline to apply is December 31st, or when the money runs out - 15 million dollars has been allocated to the program.