Iowa could lose millions in federal housing aid
Illustration: Annelis Caposella/Axios
Iowa could lose tens of millions of dollars in federal emergency rent assistance if state officials don’t reallocate funds to local housing initiatives before the end of this week, IMPACT director Anne Bacon told Axios. .
why it matters: Some of the money could help build long-term housing for low-income families in Iowa.
- But programs in other states can receive a substantial portion of Iowa’s share if spending and allocation deadlines are not met.
Catch up fast: Iowa was allocated $195 million in the first round of funding emergency rental assistance program Approved by Congress in late 2020. The deadline to spend that money — known as ERA1 — was usually September 30.
- Ashley Jared, a spokeswoman for the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA), told Axios that roughly $50 million of that portion was not spent or reallocated to local housing initiatives.
of comment: Jared said the IFA has not yet been instructed to return the unused portion.
- yes but: Federal guidance suggests that a Return Final reporting will be done after the requirements have been met, which may be as late as December 29,
During this: Iowa received an additional $149 million allocation—known as ERA 2. It ends on September 30, 2025, but requires the state to meet spending deadlines.
- Bacon noted that more than $89 million of Iowa’s second allotment is at risk of forfeiture if it is not allocated by the end of the year. Treasury Department Guidance sent to the states.
zoom in: Des Moines and Polk County awarded separately Approximately $15 million in ERA1 and $11.6 million in Era 2 allocations.
- Counties were also allowed to use $65 million of the state’s initial ERA1 allocation, which helped thousands of families.
running news: Polk County and DSM’s portions are nearly spent.
state of play: Bacon said that if IFA officials approve a reallocation of the state’s ERA 2 portions, which are subject to a federal claw, the aid would be increased.
- Bacon said Treasury officials have informed Impact that a voluntary reallocation must be submitted by November 4 to meet the deadline.
big picture: According to a review by Axios, more than a dozen states have yet to meet federal ERA program spending deadlines. National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) Estimate.
What are we watching: Iowa lacks more than 57,000 affordable rental homes as of 2020 NLIHC data,
- Polk County Supervisor Angela Connolly told Axios on Wednesday that Polk County is continuing talks with federal and state officials this week to potentially use some unused parts of the state to help build low-income housing. Can go
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