Rural Housing Assessment Grant

Agency: Iowa Grants
State: Iowa
Type of Government: State & Local
NAICS Category:
  • 541611 - Administrative Management and General Management Consulting Services
Posted Date: Oct 1, 2021
Due Date: Dec 1, 2021
Solicitation No: 347484
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-347484-Rural Housing Assessment Grant
Rural Revitalization
Application Deadline: 12/01/2021 11:59 PM
Award Amount Range: $10,000.00 - $10,000.00
Project Start Date: 01/01/2022
Project End Date: 06/30/2023
Award Announcement Date:
Eligible Applicant: Cities in Iowa with populations 40,000
Program Officer: Liesl Seabert
Phone: 515-348-6154 x
Categorical Area: Community Development, Economic Development, Housing, Rural Issues

The Rural Housing Assessment Grants program seeks to support the use of publicly available online information through the “ Profile of Iowa ” tool and rural community efforts to interpret this hard data with supplemental information as well as to implement through changes to development codes, local ordinances, and housing incentives specific to their community needs.

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

The program, defined in Iowa Administrative Code, is administered by the Center for Rural Revitalization , a division of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, in consultation with the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative Task Forces and the Iowa State University Extension & Outreach.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Use of Funding

The Rural Housing Assessment Grant Program provides funding for housing assessment data collection and the Iowa State University Extension & Outreach Rural Housing Assessment Readiness Workshop. Funds may be used to fulfill that process at the discretion of the grant recipient but must contribute to the completion of the housing assessment report, workshop, or implementation of the workshop outcomes within the contract period.

Eligible Applicants

Local city and county governments, or federally recognized tribal governments physically located in Iowa are eligible. The government must exist in and benefit a community in Iowa with a population of 20,000 or fewer and not contiguous to a city with a population of 40,000 or greater. County-wide projects must be one of the 88 least-populous counties in Iowa.

Eligible Project Requirement

Requirements for Rural Housing Assessment Interpretation & Implementation grant awards include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Applicants must demonstrate the capacity for grants administration.
  • Applications must demonstrate the feasibility of completing the proposed activities with the funds requested and contract period.
  • Applications must identify and describe any other sources of funding for the proposed activities.
  • Applications must provide $5,000 cash match for each city or county partnering on the application.
  • Applications must agree to utilize information available on the Iowa Profile tool.
  • Applications must agree to contract with Iowa State University Extension & Outreach for the facilitated Rural Housing Assessment Readiness Workshop.
  • Applications must identify any additional partner organizations that will be utilized in additional data collection or implementation processes.
  • Applications must form a local Housing Committee.


Grant Request Amount

Grant Recipients will be awarded up to $10,000 per city or county that is partnering on the application to support expenses incurred within the eligible funding period. For example, if the application includes three cities, the grant award will be up to $30,000. If the application includes one county and two cities, the award would also be up to $30,000. A portion of the total project cost must be used to contract with ISU Office of Extension and Outreach for the Rural Housing Assessment Readiness Workshop. The workshop price is dependent upon the number of communities involved.

Match Requirement

Applicants are required to demonstrate investment in the project process by providing a minimum of $5,000 per city cash match. The cash match must be secured, dedicated to eligible expenses, a legitimate part of the project and must be expended within the eligible funding period. The $5,000 match requirement may be raised through a combination of public and private sources but may not include in-kind donations of goods or services, unsecured funding or loans.

  • Cash match constitutes actual cash contributed to direct project expenses by the applicant or other funding sources.
  • Funding from state government that is already being used as match from another program, including other funds from the Iowa Economic Development Authority, cannot be used to meet the match requirement.

Funding Period

All project activities and incurred expenses must occur within the eligible contracted funding period of July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022. Funding is awarded to grant recipients on a reimbursement basis after expenses have been incurred for approved project activities within the eligible funding period. Expenses that are incurred before or after the eligible funding period are not eligible for reimbursement.

Online Application Submission

Applicants must submit applications via IowaGrants, an online application portal. Applications will not be accepted in any other format. Late, incomplete or ineligible applications will not be accepted. Applicants must create a login to view the full application for the program.

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed by staff for completion, eligibility, and adherence to published guidelines. Applications are reviewed as submitted. New application information or subsequent application clarification submitted after a program deadline is not considered. Eligible applications will be referred to a competitive review by a volunteer panel that will include Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative Task Force members, Iowa State University Extension & Outreach staff, and expert professionals (Grant Review Committee). The Grant Review Committee reserves the right to recommend conditional funding and partial funding. Funding recommendations will be submitted by the Grant Review Committee to the Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority for consideration and approval. The applicant’s authorized official will receive award notification. All funding decisions are final.

Scoring Rubric

Eligibility Review

Applications must demonstrate evidence of the following:

  • Applicant is an eligible candidate
  • Funding request meets eligible project and expense requirements
  • Request includes proof of $5,000 cash match per city or county partnering on the application for grant request
  • Project duration does not exceed contract period
  • Application is complete and submitted through
  • Applicant local city governments or federally recognized tribal governments physically located in Iowa

Extra consideration is provided to applications that have projects supporting housing initiatives endorsed by the Iowa Great Places Citizen’s Advisory Board (Additional 5 points added to score total) as well as those located in a community of 10,000 or fewer (Additional 5 points added to score total).

Additional Information

Additional information, including guidlines and factsheets are available on the Empower Rural Iowa web site at

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303.3C Iowa great places program.
1. a. The department of cultural affairs shall establish and administer an Iowa great
places program for purposes of combining resources of state government in an effort to
showcase the unique and authentic qualities of communities, regions, neighborhoods, and
districts that make such places exceptional places to work and live. The department of
cultural affairs shall provide administrative assistance to the Iowa great places board. The
department of cultural affairs shall coordinate the efforts of the Iowa great places board
with the efforts of state agencies participating in the program which shall include, but not be
limited to, the economic development authority, the Iowa finance authority, the department
of human rights, the department of natural resources, the state department of transportation,
and the department of workforce development.
b. The program shall combine resources from state government to capitalize on all of the
following aspects of the chosen Iowa great places:
(1) Arts and culture.
(2) Historic fabric.
(3) Architecture.
(4) Natural environment.
(5) Housing options.
(6) Amenities.
(7) Entrepreneurial incentive for business development.
(8) Diversity.
c. Initially, three Iowa great places projects shall be identified by the Iowa great places
board. The board may identify additional Iowa great places for participation under the
program when places develop dimensions and meet readiness criteria for participation
under the program.
d. The department of cultural affairs shall work in cooperation with the vision Iowa and
community attraction and tourism programs for purposes of maximizing and leveraging
moneys appropriated to identified Iowa great places.
e. As a condition of receiving state funds, an identified Iowa great place shall present
information to the board concerning the proposed activities and total financial needs of the
f. The department of cultural affairs shall account for any funds appropriated from the
endowment for Iowa’s health restricted capitals fund for an identified Iowa great place.
2. a. The Iowa great places board is established consisting of twelve members. The board
shall be located for administrative purposes within the department of cultural affairs and the
director shall provide office space, staff assistance, and necessary supplies and equipment
for the board. The director shall budget moneys to pay the compensation and expenses of
the board. In performing its functions, the board is performing a public function on behalf of
the state and is a public instrumentality of the state.
b. The members of the board shall be appointed by the governor, subject to confirmation
by the senate. At least one member shall be less than thirty years old on the date the member
is appointed by the governor. The board shall include representatives of cities and counties,
local government officials, cultural leaders, housing developers, business owners, and parks
c. The chairperson and vice chairperson shall be elected by the board members from the
membership of the board. In the case of the absence or disability of the chairperson and vice
chairperson, the members of the board shall elect a temporary chairperson by a majority vote
of those members who are present and voting, provided a quorum is present.
d. Members of the board shall be appointed to three-year staggered terms and the terms
shall commence and end as provided in section 69.19. If a vacancy occurs, a successor shall
be appointed in the same manner and subject to the same qualifications as the original
appointment to serve the unexpired term.
e. A majority of the members of the board constitutes a quorum.
f. A member of the board shall abstain from voting on the provision of financial assistance
to a project which is located in the county in which the member of the board resides.
g. The members of the board are entitled to receive reimbursement for actual expenses
Wed Feb 08 03:28:40 2017
Iowa Code 2017, Section 303.3C (14, 0)
incurred while engaged in the performance of official duties. A board member may also be
eligible to receive compensation as provided in section 7E.6.
3. The board shall do all of the following:
a. Organize.
b. Identify Iowa great places for purposes of receiving a package of resources under the
c. Identify a combination of state resources which can be provided to Iowa great places.
4. Notwithstanding any restriction, requirement, or duty to the contrary, in considering an
application for a grant, loan, or other financial or technical assistance for a project identified
in an Iowa great places agreement developed pursuant to this section, a state agency shall
give additional consideration or additional points in the application of rating or evaluation
criteria to such applications. This subsection applies to applications filed within three years
of the Iowa great places board’s identification of the project for participation in the program.
2005 Acts, ch 150, §87; 2006 Acts, ch 1179, §51 – 53; 2007 Acts, ch 43, §1, 2; 2011 Acts, ch
118, §85, 89
Referred to in §15H.6, §303.3D
Confirmation, see §2.32
Endowment for Iowa’s health account, §12E.12
Community attraction and tourism program, §15F.202
Vision Iowa program, §15F.302
Wed Feb 08 03:28:40 2017
Iowa Code 2017, Section 303.3C (14, 0)

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