Iowa Housing Assistance

Iowa Housing Vouchers * Public Housing * Homeless * Making Home Affordable

Iowa housing assistance includes numerous federally and state-funded programs specifically designed to help its residents with various housing needs.

Rental Help for Iowa Residents

Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers

Section 8 Housing Program is a federally funded rental assistance for low-income families, disabled persons, and the elderly. Section 8 Housing helps underprivileged afford decent, safe and sanitary housing in the private market where the program is available.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides federal grants to local public housing agencies, which, in turn, issue rent subsidies via Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) to qualifying Section 8 participants for use in the private market. Find more about Housing Choice Vouchers.

The Housing Choice Vouchers which provide Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) are portable. Section 8 TBRA cannot be tied to any specific housing unit or real estate. The TBRA assistance goes with the household, not the property. Housing Choice Vouchers can be taken, if the beneficiaries move to a different place, and used to subsidize the rent of the new housing of choice.

Each year U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sets Fair Market rent limits for housing units based on its size and community market conditions. This Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, as reported by HUD, provides for close to 22 thousand housing units in total for the needy families and individuals across the State of Iowa.

Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers Program for Iowa is administered through the Public Housing Authorities. The Housing Choice Voucher Program helps Iowa eligible individuals and families broaden their housing options in the private rental market.

Usually, each Housing Authority has a waiting list that is closed most of the time and the applications for the Section 8 Vouchers are taken periodically at a time determined by the Housing Authority. The open period for taking Section 8 applications is advertised and all related social service agencies are notified. Once on the waiting list, applicants must notify the local Housing Authority every 12 months in writing of their continued interest to remain on the waiting list.

When the waiting list is open, completed applications are accepted from all applicants. The Housing Authority will then verify the information in each application relevant to the applicant’s eligibility, admission, and benefits level. Some housing authorities have lists with the order of priority.

Once a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher is issued,  the family has to find Section 8 approved housing of their choice Choices of housing units may include the family’s present residence. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by the local Housing Authority. Section 8 HCV assistance does not pay for security deposits and moving expenses. The tenant is responsible for paying for any utilities not included in the rent according to the lease.

Income eligibility limits and benefit levels are based on local median income and local housing costs but are set largely at the federal level with limited local discretion. Income requirements are set generally as less than 50% of Area Median Income (AMI), but can be up to 80% in some cases. By law, seventy-five percent of the newly issued vouchers must go to families with incomes below 30% of the Area Median Income.

Current recipients maintain vouchers until their income reaches a level at which the value of their housing subsidy is reduced to $0.00 – all housing subsidies are calculated based on family income, housing costs, and other factors.

For specifics on eligibility for each Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher please, check with your local Iowa Housing Authority.

Search Section 8 listed rentals in Iowa here

Project-Based Rental Assistance

Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) promotes affordable housing opportunities through Project-Based Contract Administration of 230 rental properties. The Project-Based Section 8 Program involves over 9,000 units throughout the state of Iowa. Project-Based rental assistance pays part of the rent to qualified tenants for a specific building designated as Section 8 and subsidized by federal government grants with the purpose to provide affordable housing for low-income families.  Applications are accepted and waiting lists are maintained at each housing site. The populations served are households that are extremely-low income with income up to 50% of the Area Median Income. HUD establishes and publishes the income parameters annually. For details on current Iowa Section 8, Project-Based Rental Assistance contact Iowa Finance Authority at 800-432-7230

Iowa Public Housing

Subsidized and Low-Rent Apartments in Iowa State

Public Housing provides safe, decent and affordable rental housing to eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides federal grants to local Public Housing Agencies (PHA) that manage the public housing developments for low-income residents at rents they can afford.

In general, housing developments owned, managed and maintained by the local PHA are referred to as Conventional Housing, or Low Rent Public Housing and units are offered to eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities at rental rates established by the PHA authorities within the HUD income limits and guidelines.

In Iowa State, there are close to 4,000 public housing units where the local Housing Authorities serve as the landlord and rent these units to eligible tenants.

In general, to qualify for Public Housing, applicants or participants must earn no more than 80% of area median income (AMI).

Public Housing benefits are not portable like the Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers or HOME Tenant-Based Rental Assistance. The Housing Assistance is attached to the Public Housing unit that is being rented to eligible participants.

Inquire about the current availability of subsidized and low-rent apartments at your local Iowa Housing Authorities.

Search for affordable subsidized apartments in Iowa using the HUD database.

 Housing Counseling Services

Contact one of the HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies in Iowa State for the following education workshops or counseling services

  • Mortgage Delinquency and Default Resolution Counseling
  • Fair Housing Pre-Purchase Education Workshops
  • Financial Management/Budget Counseling
  • Financial, Budgeting and Credit Repair Workshops
  • Home Improvement and Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Non-Delinquency Post Purchase Workshops
  • Pre-purchase Counseling
  • Pre-purchase Homebuyer Education Workshops
  • Predatory Lending Education Workshops
  • Rental Housing Counseling
  • Rental Housing Workshops
  • Resolving/Preventing Mortgage Delinquency Workshops
  • Services for Homeless Counseling
  • Home Improvement and Rehabilitation Counseling

Iowa – Making Home Affordable options

Making Home Affordable is a federal program designed to cover different homeowners’ hardships and financial situations. Under the program, there are various options that can help Iowa homeowners in hardship stay in their homes. Depending on the situation Iowa homeowners in hardship can apply to lower their monthly payments, lower the interest rate on their home loan or even get principal reduction in some cases.

There are foreclosure alternatives and temporarily help for unemployed homeowners as well.

Here are some of the most used options under the Making Home Affordable Program:

HUD (US Department of Housing and Urban Development) approved housing counselor can be reached at 888-995-4673  (Hearing impaired: 877-304-9709 TTY) to help you understand your options, prepare your application, and work with your mortgage company.

Iowa Homeless Service Organizations

Iowa Finance Authority administers different programs that provide federal grants to Iowa regional homeless service organizations. Federal grants and state funding are used to coordinate local resources and provide assistance to homeless Iowa individuals and families. Following Iowa, Homelessness Programs are managed by Iowa Finance Authority and target population with different needs.

Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program is funded by federal government grants and is designed to help people in a housing crisis and facing homelessness, or already homeless. Services under this program are delivered by the local governments and nonprofit service agencies across Iowa.

Shelter Assistance Fund (SAF) Program is funded by the State of Iowa and resources are generally used to support shelters’ operations for homeless and victims of domestic violence. Eligible organizations to use the grants of this program include city and county governments, and nonprofit service agencies across Iowa.

There are other programs that address homelessness in the State of Iowa. The Iowa Finance Authority encourages everyone experiencing homelessness or at risk to become homeless to contact a local homeless service organization and check what are currently available options.

If you are homeless in Iowa and need help – call the listed homeless service organization in your area.

Adair County

Primary Health Care
1200 University Avenue #120, Des Moines, Iowa 50314
Provides rental assistance to persons diagnosed with HIV/AIDS who are homeless or at-risk for homelessness and who meet the income guidelines.

Family Crisis Support Network
Atlantic, Iowa
Domestic Violence Service

MATURA Action Corporation
203 W Adams Street, Creston, Iowa 50801
A community action agency that provides homelessness prevention, emergency food and shelter, energy assistance, weatherization, and other community services

Adams County

Corning Public Housing Authority
1125 Westgage Drive, Corning, Iowa 50841
Low Rent Programs

Lenox Public Housing Authority
401 E Ohio Street, Lenox, Iowa 50851
Low Rent Programs

Ruby Slippers
Siouxland Community Health Center, 1021 Nebraska
Provides rental assistance

MATURA Action Corporation
203 W Adams Street, Creston, Iowa 50801
A community action agency that provides homelessness prevention, emergency food and shelter, energy assistance, weatherization, and other community services

More Iowa Homeless Service Organizations

Iowa Low-Rent Apartments

Find more and search for Iowa subsidized and low-rent apartments here.