116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Linn County has allocated all its emergency rental assistance funding, though additional aid may be on its way in the spring with another influx of federal money.
The county announced Tuesday that it had exhausted all its available Emergency Rental Assistance Program funding, and its application portal now is closed.
The county partnered with Waypoint to launch its “stopgap” rental assistance program in August, when a national moratorium on evictions was ending.
Since then, the program has helped over 1,500 households, according to Linn County community outreach and assistance director Ashley Balius.
“The demand for this program was even greater than we originally anticipated,” Balius said. “We will continue to work with those in need to find the best possible assistance available to them and meet their needs.”
Earlier this month, Balius told The Gazette she was not concerned about the possibility of the current round of funding running out, citing the strength of other local programs and partnerships with the county.
Linn County residents in need of rent and utility assistance may apply to the Iowa Finance Authority’s Rent and Utility Assistance Program beginning noon Jan. 3 at iowahousingrecovery.com.
Renters may receive no more than a combined 12 months of assistance through the state and county programs. No assistance awarded may duplicate any assistance previously awarded under Linn County’s program.
Additional financial assistance is available through other local programs as well. To learn more, contact Waypoint by phone at (319) 366-7999 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The emergency rental funds were included in two federal pandemic relief packages passed by Congress. The first round of emergency rental aid — called ERA 1 — was approved last December to help those facing eviction or loss of utilities after being laid off or losing hours in the pandemic. Iowa received about $195 million and had distributed only $25 million as of earlier this month.
In March, Congress passed a second round of rental aid, called ERA 2. So far, the state has received $59 million under ERA 2, and Linn County received $5.3 million.
The county could see more funding in the spring once more ERA 2 funds are allocated. Iowa Finance Authority spokeswoman Ashley Jared previously told The Gazette that the Treasury Department will publish guidance on the reallocation process for ERA 2 funds, which will not begin until after March 31.
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