Iowa Finance Authority awards more than $11M to advance housing priorities

The Iowa Finance Authority Board of Directors has announced the award of more than $11 million in grants to 26 Local Housing Trust Funds to support local housing initiatives, including two Corridor housing funds.

The grant awards are made available through the Local Housing Trust Fund program and are expected to assist 2,390 families, according to a news release sent by the Iowa Finance Authority.

“The 2023 Local Housing Trust Fund awards represent the largest amount allocated through the program for local housing initiatives since the program’s inception,” said Iowa Finance Authority Executive Director Debi Durham, in the release. “Thanks to the funding increase supported by Governor Reynolds and the Iowa Legislature, the program is able to serve as an invaluable and flexible resource for meeting the important and unique housing needs of each region of the state.”

The Housing Trust Fund of Johnson County has been awarded $441,887 and the Housing Fund for Linn County has been awarded $575,867.

“The State Housing Trust Fund is a critical financing tool that helps us to advance local housing priorities,” said Scott County Housing Council Executive Director Leslie Kilgannon, in the release.  “These funds allow us to provide safe, adequate housing opportunities for our workforce and members of our communities.”

The grant funds will be used for initiatives such as preserving aging housing stock, subsidizing local rental and down payment assistance programs, providing low-interest loans or grants to assist Iowans with home rehabilitation, financing construction of new single-family housing for low-income Iowans and supporting housing for persons with disabilities and homeless assistance programs.

The State Housing Trust Fund was created by the Iowa Legislature in 2003. The awards announced will leverage an additional $3.2 million in other financing or $.28 for every dollar of Local Housing Trust Fund program funding. Since its inception, the State Housing Trust Fund has provided $112.2 million in affordable housing assistance to benefit more than 35,200 Iowa families, leveraging more than $175 million in other funding resources.

The Local Housing Trust Fund Program receives at least 60 percent of the SHTF allocation to provide grants for organizations certified by the Iowa Finance Authority as a Local Housing Trust Fund.

According to the release, the remaining funding goes to the Project-Based Housing Program, which aids in the development of affordable single-family and multifamily housing. The Iowa Finance Authority administers both programs and provides technical assistance to housing-related organizations.