COVID-19 Housing Resources and Updates
Updated: 5 days ago
COVID-19 highlights the need for a strong social safety net. And even more, the need for policies, practices, and programs that eliminate social and economic disparities. We are focused, short-term, on advocacy and action that will help to protect housing- and food-insecure residents of Johnson County. We'll be planning in coordination with local agencies for the weeks to come. Long-term, this crisis reminds us of the critical importance of everyone having a safe, stable, and economically sustainable place to call home.
Below, please find a summary of housing news so far. We'll share more information as it becomes available. If you have specific questions about housing resources during this time, please contact Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shelter for People Who are Homeless From Shelter House:
The entire community must take the most serious measures now to ensure this public health crisis is resolved. For Shelter House, that means we have increased our services to ensure the near hundred men, women, and children we shelter each night have a safe place to be during the day and evenings. It also means that we continue to ensure the hundreds of people we housed in the last year have access to the supports they need to retain their housing through this crisis and not return to emergency shelter. Our incredibly dedicated staff are doing what they can to help the most vulnerable in our community. We recognize that keeping our emergency shelter facilities operational in times of crisis is crucial to the health and well being of our entire community; we take that responsibility seriously, and will be doing our best. We need your continued support and engagement.
Please take a moment to read more about our COVID-19 response and support our mission, which will become even more critical in the weeks and months ahead here: https://shelterhouseiowa.salsalabs.org/3162020?
From MidAmerican Energy
To support customers experiencing financial hardship or isolation as a result of the pandemic threat, MidAmerican has temporarily suspended all disconnections for non-payment. The company will work with customers who are impacted economically by COVID-19 by waiving deposits and fees for late payments and providing payment plans as needed. MidAmerican encourages any customer facing hardship to call us at 888-427-5632. We will make every effort to work with customers experiencing financial difficulties.
From the City of Iowa City re: Water
Iowa City has suspended water shut-offs and late fee penalties. If an individual is living in a property that has previously had the water shut off, the city will work with the resident to get it turned back on.
From the City of North Liberty re: Water
North Liberty has suspended shut-offs and penalties. Delinquent accounts will be offered payment plan options. Water has been turned back on for accounts previously shut off due to lack of payment.
Low-Income Housing Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Assistance is available for energy costs, weatherization, and possible crisis support for energy bills. Visit https://www.hacap.org/what-we-do/energy-conservation/apply-liheap/ to apply.
Households that have been identified as eligible for LIHEAP also have some additional protections from having their electric or gas shut off through May 1. More information on that is available here.
Evictions, Foreclosures, and other Legal Issues Please see the current information (updated frequently!) from Iowa Legal Aid
From the Iowa International Center
As with many organizations, the Iowa International Center continues to monitor the federal and state government's response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). During this unprecedented time, we understand how challenging it may be for those providing housing services to keep tenants abreast of developments, closures, and changes needed to keep our communities functioning and safe for all.
We would like to make sure that you're aware that Iowa International Center's Housing Hotline is still available as a free, 24/7 resource to provide language interpretation. You can find additional information about this resource, including who can use the hotline, how to use the service and which languages are provided at https://iowainternationalcenter.org/local-resources/housing-interpretation/