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34 Ways to Get Free Iowa Rent Assistance

34 Ways to Get Free Iowa Rent Assistance

If you’re looking for Iowa rent assistance programs, you’re in the right place! We’ve found many rental assistance programs across the state that may be able to help you pay your housing costs.

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Statewide Iowa Rent Assistance

There are many programs that offer help across the entire state of Iowa. Wherever you live, these programs may be able to help you. For more assistance, be sure to check our nationwide and local lists below.

Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program

This is Iowa’s official COVID-19 rental assistance program. It is designed to help low income people who were financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are eligible, you could receive assistance with up to 12 months of help!

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In order to be eligible, you must meet ALL of the following requirements:

  • You must be a renter in the state of Iowa.
  • You must have a household income of no more than 80% of the Area Median Income.
  • At least one member of your household must have qualified for unemployment benefits OR have experienced a reduction in household income OR have incurred significant costs OR have experienced another financial hardship either directly or indirectly caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Your household must be at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability. This can be proven with a past-due utility or rent notice or an eviction notice.

For more information or to apply, please visit the Iowa Housing Recovery website.

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Community Action Agencies

Community Action Agencies are powerful resources for low income people. There are 16 agencies in Iowa and the services offered by each agency may vary.

Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities have many programs that can assist low income people throughout Iowa. They may be able to assist with rent and medication assistance in crisis situations. They also offer mental health services and other programs.

County Veterans Assistance

It appears that each county in Iowa has a County Veterans Services office that can help veterans navigate benefits and other resources. It appears that these agencies can assist with utilities, rent payments, funeral costs, burial expenses, food and more.

US Freedom Foundation

The Freedom Foundation is an organization that helps veterans. It’s based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This organization provides a veterans center with a pool table, computer lab, poker table and more. They also offer financial assistance with food, holiday meals, motel vouchers, utility payments, bus rides, emergency medical care and more.

Friends of the Family

Friends of the Family is an organization that serves 27 counties in Iowa. This organization can provide assistance with housing for homeless families. This program can help with rent assistance, as well as relocation assistance and other homeless support services. They also have special programs for domestic abuse survivors, sexual assault survivors, human trafficking survivors and more.

General Assistance

Did you know that Iowa law requires every county to offer General Assistance to those who need help? In Chapter 252.25 the law requires counties to provide for the poor. These programs can typically assist with rent, mortgage payments, utilities, clothing, burial or cremation costs, and other expenses.

Proteus Inc.

Proteus Inc. is dedicated to helping farm and migrant workers throughout Iowa. This agency can assist with food, housing education, health, and other resources. They offer $75 toward rent for eligible farmworkers who attend their home ownership education classes. Additional assistance may also be available.

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Section 8 Housing Vouchers

Although this program does not provide help in emergency situations, it may be able to help you pay your rent on an ongoing basis. However, you will need to apply before you need the help because it can take a while to get these benefits. For more information on Section 8, click here.

St. Vincent de Paul

There are many St. Vincent de Paul outreach organizations that can assist with rent, mortgages and utilities. However, they may have specific rules that you need to follow. For example, the Waterloo location requires that you first reach out to your County agencies for assistance.

Supportive Services for Veteran Families

SSVF is a VA program that helps veterans with housing costs. The program includes case management, temporary financial assistance and more. There are many SSVF partners in Iowa, including the Community Action Councils and some health care providers.

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army often offers assistance with rent, clothing, household items, emergency shelter and more. If you need help with rent, it’s always wise to reach out to The Salvation Army for assistance and referrals.

Nationwide Rent Assistance

We’ve found even more help with rent on a nationwide level. You won’t want to miss out on these incredible grant programs! Check our nationwide list here.

Local Iowa Rent Assistance

Some of the most helpful programs we’ve found operate at a local level. These programs only help with rent in certain cities, counties, zip codes or other geographic boundaries. For exact details, you’ll need to contact the agency directly.

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To keep this list as concise as possible, we have NOT included county information for programs that exist throughout the state. For example, we have not listed every General Assistance office or County Veteran Services office in the state. Details on those programs are listed under Statewide Iowa Rent Assistance, above. For additional details, you’ll have to reach out to your county offices.

Black Hawk County

Eastside Ministerial Alliance Inc.

The Eastside Ministerial Alliance is a group of pastors and ministers from the community who work together to meet the needs of low income people in the local area. They may be able to assist with rent, tax filing, medical needs, self sufficiency programs and more.

Jesse Cosby Neighborhood Center

The Jesse Cosby Neighborhood Center offers financial assistance with rent and other critical services. For details, you will need to contact them directly as their website is very limited.

Boone County

The Bridge Home

The Bridge Home can assist with rent, utilities, security deposits, food, clothing, and emergency shelter. This organization serves residents of Story, Boone, Green, Hardin and Marshall Counties.

Clinton County

DeWitt Referral Center

The DeWitt Referral Center offers valuable services to residents within the Central DeWitt Community School District. This organization can provide Iowa rent assistance, as well as assistance with gasoline, auto repairs, prescriptions, school supplies, diapers, Christmas gifts and more!

Information Referral & Assistance Services

This is an incredible agency! Information Referral and Assistance Services can provide Iowa rent assistance as well as help with utilities, bus passes, eyeglasses, medications, personal hygiene items, work clothes, holiday food boxes, food, and weekend food packages for children in school.

Dallas County

Adel Ministerial Association (Adel, DeSoto, Minburn)

The Adel Ministerial Association is a cooperative effort between many different churches in the area. The Association has provided Iowa rent assistance, utility assistance, as well as help with bus tickets, gas expenses, medical emergencies and more.

Des Moines Area

Since Des Moines is in Polk County and West Des Moines is part of multiple counties, it doesn’t necessarily make sense to organize these resources by county. Instead, I’m grouping these together in the “Des Moines Area.”

Cross Outreach

Cross Outreach provides homelessness prevention and basic needs services. Their various programs may be able to help with Iowa rent assistance, security deposit assistance, electric or water assistance, laundromat vouchers, bus tokens, personal hygiene items like toilet paper or toothpaste, and more.

Home Inc.

Home Inc. provides many different types of assistance, including Iowa rent assistance.

West Des Moines Human Services

West Des Moines Human Services can assist with rent and utilities. They also offer assistance with handyman services, youth recreational activities, clothing, food assistance and more!

Dodge County

Care Corps LifeHouse

The Care Corps provides rental assistance and other services. They also have a 60 bed shelter, utility assistance programs, hygiene items, basic food and more. They also offer Life Skills training.

Green County

The Bridge Home

The Bridge Home can assist with rent, utilities, security deposits, food, clothing, and emergency shelter. This organization serves residents of Story, Boone, Green, Hardin and Marshall Counties.

Hardin County

The Bridge Home

The Bridge Home can assist with rent, utilities, security deposits, food, clothing, and emergency shelter. This organization serves residents of Story, Boone, Green, Hardin and Marshall Counties.

Iowa County

First Presbyterian Church

The First Presbyterian Church offers a food bank and limited financial assistance with rent and utility bills when funds are available. They may also provide a rental deposit loan. You can only receive assistance once every six months from this program.

Johnson County

CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank

This incredible organization provides judgment-free assistance for anyone facing emotional, food or financial crises in the Iowa City area. They offer crisis support, as well as assistance with rent, utilities, security deposits, birth certificates, identification, work supplies (such as boots or uniforms), clothing vouchers, bus tickets, prescriptions and even temporary mailing addresses for people experiencing homelessness.

Linn County

Waypoint

Waypoint provides many housing resources in Linn County. They provide homeless prevention services, which may be able to provide some Iowa rent assistance. They also have an overnight shelter, coordinated entry program, rapid re-housing program, tenant academy, child care program and survivors program that supports people who have lost someone to homicide (including vehicular homicide) or who have been the victim of violent felony crimes like kidnapping, robbery and attempted murder.

Mahaska County

Love in the Name of Christ

Love INC may be able to provide assistance with rent or rent deposits through their Mahaska Connect program. They also have a pregnancy center that offers free pregnancy tests and confidential support.

Marion County

Crossroads of Pella

Crossroads provides financial assistance, which may include rent assistance. They also provide free counseling, holiday help, Medicare help, ESL classes, warming stations, grocery delivery for homebound individuals, support groups and employment services. They also offer free coats from October through January.

Marshall County

The Bridge Home

The Bridge Home can assist with rent, utilities, security deposits, food, clothing, and emergency shelter. This organization serves residents of Story, Boone, Green, Hardin and Marshall Counties.

Pottawattamie County

Heartland Family Service (Council Bluffs)

This agency serves residents in Pottawattamie County with homeless prevention services. These housing support services may be able to provide you with some Nebraska rent assistance, as well as other critical services.

Interfaith Response Inc.

Interfaith Response Inc. can provide financial assistance with rent and utilities when funds are available. They may also be able to refer you to other services.

Poweshiek County

Montezuma Ministerial Association

The Montezuma Ministerial Association is a partnership of area pastors that administer relief to low income people in the area. They may be able to assist with food, clothes, holiday assistance and limited financial Iowa rent assistance when funds are available.

Scott County

Churches United of the Quad City Area (Bettendorf)

Churches United of the Quad City Area coordinates efforts from a coalition of Quad City area churches. They provide rent assistance, utility assistance, counseling, referrals and more.

Story County

Christ Community Church (Ames)

Christ Community Church in Ames operates a special community fund called The Caring Fund. This fund helps eligible residents of Ames receive assistance with rent, utilities and other related living expenses.

Good Neighbor Emergency Assistance Inc.

Good Neighbor provides rent and utility assistance. They may also be able to assist with phone cards, gas vouchers, public transportation tickets, emergency food vouchers, as well as help with cell phone bills and internet bills!

Love Your Neighbor Emergency Assistance and Immigrant Fund

The Love Your Neighbor fund by St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church can provide rent and utility assistance. In order to receive assistance, you must first apply for help from Story County Community Services.

The Bridge Home

The Bridge Home can assist with rent, utilities, security deposits, food, clothing, and emergency shelter. This organization serves residents of Story, Boone, Green, Hardin and Marshall Counties.

Woodbury County

Siouxland SHIP

The Siouxland Human Investment Partnership offers many useful programs. Their Family Home Visitation Program serves families with children up to 5 years old with supportive services including transportation assistance, employment assistance and more.

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