A new pilot program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will help Iowans repair homes damaged by natural disasters.

Theresa Greenfield, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa has announced the Department is launching a pilot program that will make it easier for people to access loans and grants to repair homes damaged by flooding or by future natural disasters in rural Iowa. To be eligible for these grants and loans, homes must be in eligible rural areas and presidentially declares disaster areas.

These funds can be used in presidentially declared disaster areas that were issued since July 18, 2022. Allamakee, Clayton, Dubuque, Jackson, Scott, Des Moines and Lee counties are included. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has published a map of the affected area as of August 25 of this year.

“The Biden-Harris Administration and USDA stand ready to deploy every resource at our disposal to help very low-income families and individuals recover and recuperate,” said Greenfield. “We are working hard to find solutions that better accommodate people impacted by natural disasters in rural areas of Iowa, to help them get the resources they need to rebuild their homes and their lives. The pilot program we are announcing today is a key example of this critical work and will hopefully create a blueprint for helping people in other rural communities across the country recover from natural disasters.”

This USDA pilot program expands eligibility for people who are seeking Single Family Housing Repair Loans and Grants to repair and rebuild their homes damaged in areas of presidentially declared disasters. The expansion of the program includes:

  • Lowering the minimum age from 62 to 18 for eligible homeowners.
  • Increasing the maximum lifetime assistance up to $40,675.
  • Refinancing debt and reimbursing repair costs incurred because of the natural disaster and before the application date. Eligible repairs must be to remove health or safety hazards caused by the presidentially declared disaster.
  • Financing costs to relocate mobile and manufactured homes.

Applications must be submitted directly to the Rural Development State Office in Iowa.

For more information on how to apply to this pilot program, email IowaHomeLoans@usda.gov, call (515) 284-4444 or click here.