Inside Iowa's $100M housing announcement

Federal coronavirus relief to provide a big housing boost

Inside Iowa's $100M housing announcement

At the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) Housing Iowa Conference in Cedar Rapids on September 8, Governor Kim Reynolds announced that Iowa will allocate $100 million in state and local relief funds from the American Rescue Plan to housing programs.

Below is a summary of how funds will be used - with complete details for each program available from iowafinance.com/arphousingfunds/. You can also download state government’s PowerPoint describing these programs with the link at the bottom of this article.

Federal Housing Tax Credit Program – $45 million 

IFA estimates the allocation will “move approximately 15 tax credit projects forward that otherwise would not be able to proceed,” resulting in about 700 new affordable units in Iowa.

Notwithstanding these additional funds, the Iowa Finance Authority’s board approved the regular annual allocation of housing tax credits through this year’s regular process also on September 8 in Cedar Rapids. No projects in Polk County were funded in the initial allocation, but several had been proposed by developers. We will be watching to see if these projects are approved for credits with the newly-available funds.

Workforce Housing Tax Credit Program – $20 million 

These funds will be made available to projects that are already in the program to help them cope with the effects of rising construction costs, and this would potentially include projects planned for Polk County.

The Iowa Legislature had already increased funding for this program this year, and in July, applications for the current cycle were due. An announcement of which projects are funded in the current cycle is considered imminent and will be made by the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

Previously, regarding the expanded program, local developer Jack Hatch told the Des Moines Register:  “...I give credit to the governor and the Legislature for not being afraid to leverage more state dollars for housing, because it goes toward leveraging federal and private investments as well.”

Downtown Housing Grant Program – $20 million

This program will help smaller communities add housing in their downtown areas. The application for funding opened immediately and will close in November, with funded projects announced at the end of the year. Eligible communities have populations under 30,000.

Homes for Iowa – $10 million

These funds bolster a program through which inmates at the Newton Correctional Facility build single family homes.

Home Repair Block Grant Pilot Program – $4 million

These funds will support home rehabilitation and repair for low and moderate income homeowners. Communities with populations under 30,000 may apply and must raise a 25% local match.  Applications will be due in mid-November.

Minority Homebuyer Down Payment Assistance Pilot Program – $1 million

This program will provide 200 minority households up to $5,000 in downpayment and closing cost assistance. Borrowers must use an IFA mortgage program.  Program details can be found here.

More program details

Use the link below to download additional details about this announcment.

Download a complete overview of details for each program.