Financial assistance available for low-income Iowans facing eviction or regaining housing

Gov. Reynolds recently announced $9 million for the Emergency Solutions Grant that will go towards a variety of needs, including rent and utility payments, security deposits, moving costs, case management and credit repair

Posted: Dec 11, 2020 2:31 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - Trying to find residence after being evicted from your home due to financial issues is a scary and daunting task. With the federal eviction moratorium on renters set to expire at the end of the month, the state of Iowa is making sure that no one goes homeless.

Recently, Governor Kim Reynolds announced $9 million in CARES Act funding will be set allocated to the Emergency Solutions Grant program to assist low-income Iowans who are at risk of eviction and those who have lost housing to regain housing stability. It covers not just rent and utility payments, but also application fees, moving costs and credit repair. All financial assistance is paid directly to landlords and service providers.

The Mason City Housing Authority is one of a few agencies in North Iowa aimed to help meet the housing needs of low-income families, within Mason City city limits. Executive director Cathy Burtness says her office has received some applicants to the program and other forms of assistance, though there is a bit of a backlog the agency is working through.

"We're trying to process new people on the program as quickly as we can. We have about 60 letters out to people that are next on the waiting list to determine their eligibility and get them in here for their paper work and get them started just as soon as we can.

"We have about 500 households that we help at any one time in the program. The households pay between 30-40% of their income towards rent and utilities. Our funding, which is federal funding from HUD [U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development], covers the difference."

To be eligible for eviction prevention, you must have an income of 50% of the area's median income, must have been economically impacted by COVID-19, and be at imminent risk of eviction. For those needing to regain housing quickly, Iowans must be experiencing homelessness. 

For more information on the program, including how to apply through the coordinated entry help line in your area, visit iowahousingrecovery.com. To be screened for the grant program in Cerro Gordo County, call 641-380-0047. For housing assistance within Mason City city limits, call 641-421-2711.

The funding will also provide support for homeless shelter operations. The Northern Lights Alliance for the Homeless received $45,000 during the second allocation of the emergency grant awards, for shelter and outreach.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 8142
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Hennepin1423771859
Ramsey59270950
Dakota52926503
Anoka48822485
Washington31123312
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St. Louis20783337
Scott19966146
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Olmsted16191112
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Carver1232552
Clay930196
Rice9242125
Blue Earth885747
Crow Wing8008102
Kandiyohi751491
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Otter Tail684095
Benton6616102
Mower573938
Winona562752
Goodhue558981
Douglas546484
Itasca529272
Beltrami527572
Steele516521
McLeod516164
Isanti499070
Morrison475763
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Becker449960
Polk442175
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Carlton396960
Nicollet386448
Pine381626
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Cases: 439050

Reported Deaths: 6420
CountyCasesDeaths
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Linn26618363
Scott23312265
Black Hawk19397338
Woodbury17483233
Johnson1698692
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Pottawattamie13369186
Dallas13048102
Story1211448
Warren707893
Webster6479103
Cerro Gordo6370105
Clinton635898
Des Moines618084
Muscatine5985109
Marshall586981
Sioux547676
Jasper532076
Lee529084
Wapello5230128
Buena Vista479442
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Plymouth442185
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Jones341159
Bremer331365
Washington330454
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Carroll326553
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Boone318636
Mahaska282754
Dickinson276547
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Clay255629
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Tama246073
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Page225724
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Winneshiek219237
Hamilton216752
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Madison199920
Clayton199758
Floyd195742
Butler191936
Poweshiek188837
Mills188225
Iowa185927
Cherokee184740
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Jefferson178238
Lyon178041
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Hancock170336
Winnebago170131
Cass164356
Louisa161651
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