Funding for Rural Housing Assessments in Iowa

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In observance of National Planning Month Rural Resurrection is publishing a series of posts on planning-related topics. Each year National Planning Month is recognized to promote community planning. This year’s theme is “Planning Is Essential to Recovery“. 

Many rural communities throughout the Midwest are running into housing shortages. In Iowa, as in other states, the housing situation is being called a crisis. With rising costs in new construction, and inflation hitting purchase prices and rental rates, things are only getting worse. Assessing your housing stock and options for improvement is important.

Iowa has recognized that these housing problems are impacting economic development opportunities. The Iowa Economic Development Authority’s (IDEA) Center for Rural Revitalization, along with the governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative Task Forces teamed with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach for a new program.

Housing ConstructionA $10,000 grant combines with a $5,000 local match to fund the assessments. That cost appears relatively low for a planning study anymore. However, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s involvement in the program adds several thousand dollars worth of value to each of the assessments.

What makes this grant better for rural communities is the population limit for applicants. Applicant communities are required to have a population of 20,000 or fewer and not contiguous to a city with a population of 40,000 or greater.

Applications for the second round of funding are available online through  Applications are due October 15, 2020.