In a notice sent out by the Southern Iowa Council of Governments (SICOG) in January of 2024, a new program focused on offering grants to qualifying residents in Iowa to make necessary home repairs, is being kicked off by the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA). The Home Repair Pilot Program is intended to offer funding to qualified homeowners to prevent potential displacement and assisting with home repairs to maintain the habitability of the home.
“This a wonderful opportunity for our Clarke County residents who may have repairs to make to their homes, but lack the funding,” said Elizabeth Simpson, Program Manager at the Clarke County Development Corporation (CCDC).
Grant sums are intended to help residents who struggle with home repairs due to income disparage or disabilities. Based on the pilot program website, potential grant totals can provide as much as $35,000.00 to qualifying repairs.
In some situations, homeowner insurance may have lapsed or does not cover repairs for other construction assistance programs. With IFA’s Home Repair Pilot Program, qualifying residents can apply for improvements including:
- Building envelope, including exterior doors and window replacement, siding, roofing, soffit, fascia, gutters, and/or ventilation, if necessary
- Electrical or Plumbing Systems
- Foundation Repair
- Payment of fines assessed by a local municipality because of a homeowner’s inability to make critical home repairs
(i.e., a fine for a broken sidewalk and/or boarded up window may be eligible vs. an overgrown lawn, which is ineligible)
For homeowners who may need to make accessibility or health-related modifications to help assure continued habitability of the home, the following types of environmental modifications can also be considered though the program:
- Asbestos removal or abatement
- Installation of specialized electric and plumbing systems to accommodate medical equipment and supplies
- HVAC repair or replacement
- Installation or repair of non-portable ramp(s) or lift(s)
- Lead hazard reduction
- Modification of bathroom facilities
- Modification of kitchen facilities
- Mold remediation
- Radon mitigation
- Specialized accessibility/safety adaptations
- Turnaround space adaptations
- Widening of doorways/hallways
Eligibility for participation in the IFA’s Home Repair Pilot Program is detailed. A partial list of requirements is provided below, but for full eligibility information, applicants are encouraged to visit the Iowa Finance Authority’s Web site for the Home Repair Program at: www.iowafinance.com/repair/
For those interested, feel free to click on the flyer image in this post to open and download a PDF outlining the program and eligibility requirements.
- Applicant’s household income must not exceed 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI).
A chart of AMI calculations based on county can be found on their Web site.
- Applicants must have home repair needs that affect the ongoing insurability or accessibility of their home.
- Applicants must have had someone in the household experience a financial hardship after January 21, 2020, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This could be a reduction in income or increase in living expenses due to job loss, fewer work hours, paying more for childcare, illness, or being unable to work because you had to care for a family member.
- Applicant must own the property located in Iowa.
- Applicant must occupy the home as their primary residence.
- Applicant must be current on mortgage and property tax payments.*
- Applicant’s household housing debt-to-income ratio must be 50% or lower.
*In some cases, eligible homeowners may also qualify for assistance with past due mortgage and related property expenses, if requested and documentation is supplied during application.
“Some in our community are struggling to make the necessary repairs their homes need simply to make it livable,” said Simpson. “This program offers equitable solutions to ensure livability, safety and access for everyone.”
Applications for the IFA Home Repair Pilot Program are open through March 29, 2024.
If you have questions about the Iowa Finance Authority’s Homeowner Assistance Fund program or need help with an application, you can contact the Iowa Homeowner Assistance Fund Support Team, toll free, at 888-668-0927 to leave a message. Your call will be returned the same business day or within 24 hours, Monday through Friday.
While the Iowa Finance Authority’s Homeowner Assistance Fund Program is not administered through the Clarke County Development Corporation, the CCDC regularly works with non-profit organizations to help assure the area’s quality of life and make the community a better place to work, live, and play. Programs available through the CCDC can be found at their website: www.OsceolaClarkeDev.com.
If you’re interested in learning more about programs available through the CCDC, please reach out to Elizabeth Simpson, CCDC Program Manager, at 115 E Washington Street, Osceola, IA 50213, call (641) 342-2944, or email: [email protected].