More people now eligible for rent and mortgage help through state pandemic program

The Iowa Finance Authority says more people could now be eligible to receive assistance through their COVID-19 Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention program.

Spokesperson Ashley Jared says those who were ineligible because they received the $600 federal unemployment benefit are now eligible for the program. “So if you have received that benefit in the past, you are now welcome to apply,” she says. “And even if you applied in the past and were denied because of that benefit, you are more than welcome to reapply to
see if you are eligible for rent or mortgage assistance.”

She says the program will help those who are having trouble paying their rent during the pandemic. “We have rent assistance You can get up to $3,200 up to four months for rental assistance. And that is paid directly to your landlord. They have to log in and verify your rental amount at the apartment or home that you are renting.,” according to Jared.

And there is help if you own your home. “If you have a mortgage and you are struggling to make your payment due to a COVID loss of income — we can also assist with that — with up to three thousand dollars. Again up to four months to that mortgage servicer directly,” Jared says.

She says your eligibility is based on your income. Jared says it is based on 80 percent of the area median income, and that varies by county and household size. “In Polk County for instance, it is roughly $57,000 for a household of two,” she says. The federal unemployment assistance expired at the end of July and the attempts in Congress to bring it back have so far stalled.

“If something passes we would have to re-examine at that point — but right now we are just really glad we are able to open up eligibility to those who have received that assistance in the past,” Jared says. Jared encourages anyone who may need help to check and see if they are eligible at

“About eleven-hundred have recieved assistance so far. A large majority of that being renters,” Jared says. “We anticipate the home ownership side will come a little later on, hopefully not though. Hopefully, people are keeping up on their mortgage payments.”

The money for the program comes from an allocation made by the governor form the Federal Cares Act.

— Radio Iowa

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