NEWS RELEASE: Workforce Housing Tax Credits Now Available for Counties Under Disaster Declaration

October 15, 2019


Governor Kim Reynolds * Lt. Governor Adam Gregg

For more information contact:

Pat Garrett, 515.802.0986
Jacque Matsen, 515.348.6245

Workforce Housing Tax Credits Now Available for Counties Under Disaster Declaration

October 15, 2019 (DES MOINES)  – The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) today announced that $10 million in Workforce Housing tax credits (WHTC) are now available for qualified housing projects in the 10 Iowa counties under Presidential Disaster declaration. The funding is part of the Empower Rural Iowa Act, approved during the 2019 Iowa legislative session, and is designed to encourage housing rehabilitation and development in communities that have lost housing or can demonstrate a housing need as a result of a disaster.

“Iowans are resilient, and this critical investment will provide communities with the resources needed to rebuild,” said Governor Reynolds. “This additional funding underscores how we must do everything we can to ensure our communities have what they need to recover. Affordable and adequate housing continues to be a key goal of our strategy to revitalize rural Iowa.” 

To be eligible for the program, projects must be in counties that received a Presidential Disaster declaration on or after March 12, 2019, and where individuals are eligible for Individual Assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Currently, the following 10 counties meet the criteria above: 

  • Fremont
  • Harrison
  • Louisa
  • Mills
  • Monona
  • Muscatine
  • Pottawattamie
  • Scott
  • Shelby
  • Woodbury

Eligible projects include single-family or multi-family new construction or rehabilitation, as well as upper story housing development. The project must be completed within three years from the date it is awarded credits and include:

  •  at least four single-family homes; or
  •  at least one multi-family building containing three or more units; or
  •  at least two upper story housing units.

The project budget must include local matching funds in an amount equal to at least $1,000 per housing unit in the project. Local matching funds may include tax abatement, grants, reimbursements or other cash or cash equivalents. 

Housing developers may receive tax credits of up to 20 percent of the investment related to the construction/rehabilitation. The tax credit is based on the first $150,000 in new investment for each housing unit. The state tax credits are transferable and may be used for equity in the project. The maximum tax credit award for a project is $1 million. The actual amount of credits issued are based on final, documented project costs.

“These funds should bring much needed relief to communities across the entire state that have been hit hard by recent disasters,” said Debi Durham, director of IEDA and the Iowa Finance Authority. “We hope this assistance helps not only address critical housing needs, but also jumpstarts economic development efforts in these areas.”

Applications are being accepted now via IEDA will accept and review applications on a first-come, first-served basis until available tax credits are fully allocated. IEDA will issue the tax credits upon project completion. 

For additional program parameters and information, please contact Nichole Hansen at


Stay Informed.

Sign Up to Receive Updates