New state renters’ aid program launches Monday

BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
PCC EDITOR

DES MOINES – A new program to help renters and homeowners will launch in the state starting Monday, March 29.

During Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds weekly new conference, Debi Durham, the director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority unveiled the new program that will be open to Iowa residents at 2 p.m. that day.

Durham said the program will focus on past due payments with future month payments in three month requests at at time.

“Eligible renters must have income of no more than 80% of the area median income,” Durham said. “One or more of the individuals in the household must have qualified for unemployment or experienced a reduction of income or other hardship directly or indirectly related to COVID, or be experiencing a risk of homelessness, instability or eviction.”

Those interested in the program should visit www.iowahousingrecovery.com to take an eligibility precheck for renters.

She said renters should gather all the necessary income and eligibility information available at the site prior to checking for eligibility. Renters should also inform landlords of their intent to file for assistance as landlords will have to fill out part of the application.

All payments would go directly to the landlords. The funds are coming from a $195 million federal housing grant.

Reynolds also mentioned the deaths of the nurse and correctional officer at Anamosa State Penitentiary on Tuesday. She said the Department of Criminal Investigation is on the ground at the penitentiary and additional information is planned for release at a press conference set for 3 p.m. Wednesday.

“It’s hard to understand such a senseless loss, but its my hope that the prayers of the state will offer some sense of peace and comfort,” she said.

“It’s an extremely difficult situation. You’ve lost two of your own and all of us stand united and are ready to support you.”

Reynolds said the state has given 1.33 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in Iowa with 86.8% of available vaccines in Iowans’ arms with 517,000 Iowans fully vaccinated.

She said Iowa is currently sixth in the nation with 35% of Iowans 18 and older with at least one dose. Iowa also ranks in the top 10 for vaccinating adults 65 and older.

The weekly governor’s conference call with the White House task force is showing that the uptick in vaccine production is still going as scheduled and Iowa should be seeing an increase of about 25,000 doses weekly compared to the past two weeks.

The state is planning to open vaccinations to all Iowans starting April 5 due to the increased production.

“We are on target to open vaccination to all Iowans April 5. Once this occurs there will be more demand than supply so we ask for patience. Soon there will be enough vaccine for everyone,” she said.

She also said the state if focused on making sure there is equity in vaccinating all Iowans including minority and other vulnerable communities.

“It’s criictial to ensure equity across the state and there are a variety of services available for those experiencing barriers to getting vaccinated.”

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