Empower Rural Iowa Program Announces Housing Assessment Grants

Friday, March 06, 2020

Empower Rural Iowa Program Announces Housing Assessment Grants

Offered through the Center for Rural Revitalization/IEDA/Empower Rural Iowa
The Rural Housing Assessment Grant Program requires eligible communities to invest $5,000 cash match to be awarded an additional $10,000 that will be dedicated to improving the quality, access, or affordability of housing in their community.  Communities must submit an application to IEDA; a total of ten grants will be awarded. $5,000 of the total project cost must be used to contract with Iowa State University Office of Extension & Outreach for the Rural Housing Assessment Readiness Workshop.
The $10,000 could be used to pay for staff time, consultancy fees, or services.  Some ideas for utilizing the award include:

  • A feasibility study or market analysis
  • To put down as a First Right of Refusal for land purchase
  • Hire an engineer to do a building analysis for adaptive re-use
  • Hire a surveyor to plat out and/or scope out land 
  • Hire a realtor to market land or lots for sale
  • Create a marketing campaign for new construction or rehab programs
  • Implement a credit clean-up program for mortgages in conjunction with a local bank
  • Contract with a COG for policy, code, and ordinance clean-up
  • Hire a grant writer/manager to write and submit a federal or state grant
  • Pay for additional training, such as the Housing Assistance Council Rural Housing loan training or National Development Council certification

Local city governments or federally recognized tribal governments physically located in Iowa are eligible to apply. The government must exist in and benefit a community in Iowa with a population of 20,000 or fewer and not contiguous to a city with a population of 40,000 or greater. Any eligible applicant may submit an application that includes one or more partners and may apply on behalf of an entire county assessment if the county is one of the 88 least populous counties in Iowa.

Applications will be available online through IowaGrants.gov beginning March 9th, 2020.  Applications must be submitted by May 1, 2020, 11:59 pm.


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Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation 217 East Main Street Ottumwa, Iowa  52501
Phone 641-682-3465 Fax 641-682-3466 info@ottumwaiowa.com