Rural Housing Assessment Grant Program

Empower Rural Iowa

Helping Rural Communities with Housing Development

Housing Assessment Online Tool Screenshot
"Profile of Iowa" Online Assessment Tool

The Rural Housing Assessment Grant program supports the use of publicly available, online information through the “Profile of Iowa” tool and rural community efforts to interpret publicly available hard data to implement changes through development codes, local ordinances and housing incentives specific to individual community needs. This program is a result of the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative’s 2018 Recommendations.

In partnership with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s Rural Housing Readiness Assessment workshops, program funding will empower communities to assess their current development environment and enact changes resulting in the creation of policies and procedures attractive to potential developers.

The program is administered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s (IEDA) Center for Rural Revitalization in consultation with the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative Task Forces and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Funding is based on annual availability. Grant amounts are $10,000 with a cash match of $5,000.

  • City must be the applicant with a population of 20,000 or fewer and not contiguous to a city with a population of 40,000 or greater
  • An eligible city may submit an application that includes one or more partners and may apply on behalf of an entire county assessment if the county is one of the 88 least populous counties in Iowa

Scoring Criteria

  • Timing & Need
  • Housing Committee & City Resolution
  • Existing Documentation
  • Implementation
  • Budget & Local Support
  • Applications were due for FY2021 on October 15, 2020 and funding decisions were made on November 1, 2020
  • Applicants must utilize Iowa Profile Tool and contract with Iowa State University Extension & Outreach for the facilitated Rural Housing Assessment Readiness Workshop
  • Applicants must form a local Housing Committee
  • Applications are reviewed by a panel including: Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative Task Force members; Iowa State University Extension & Outreach staff; and expert professionals
  • Extra consideration is provided to applications that have projects supporting housing initiatives endorsed by the Iowa Great Places Citizen’s Advisory Board as well as those located in a community of 10,000 or fewer
For more information, contact:

Liesl Seabert