Rent, mortgage, and utility assistance for households whose income is affected by COVID-19

Updated: Mar 1

COVID-19 Housing Assistance Update 3/1/21

Do you (or someone you know) need help paying rent or utility bills due to COVID-19?

Local residential renters may be eligible for help with rent and utilities through the Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program. Eligible households may receive assistance from the state with up to 12 months of rent and/or utility payments (electricity, gas, propane or fuel oil, water, sewer, and/or trash removal). Assistance is available for bills from March 13, 2020 until September 30, 2021, or until the funds run out.

Information about who can apply and how to apply can be found at The program is expected to begin this month. If you have already received an eviction notice, you should contact Shelter House at 319-351-0326 for more immediate assistance.

Mortgage assistance will also be available from the state of Iowa. The assistance can pay up to two months of past-due mortgage and up to two months of future mortgage, up to a total of $3,600. The application for this program will also be at

JCAHC and many community partners will be helping to offer in-person help for households applying for this program. If you have internet access and feel able to do it yourself, you do not need to receive in-person assistance in order to submit your request through the online application.

Right now, it is important for eligible renters to know that if you pay rent and utility bills using credit cards or money borrowed from friends/family, these types of debt cannot be repaid through these programs.

The cities of Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty are willing to wait for utility payments from the Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance before shutting off water, but potential recipients must contact their respective city and request forbearance (phone numbers and websites are listed on each utility bill).

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