DES MOINES, Iowa — Keeping up with rent and other monthly expenses during the pandemic has been tough for many families because many have lost their jobs or had their wages reduced.
"Being in affordable housing, they're used to working paycheck to paycheck and you add a pandemic onto it and it's scary for them," Brittany Spieker said.
Spieker is the director of resident services a Community Housing Initiatives, a nonprofit, which offers affordable housing options.
Spieker said the new Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program will be a huge help to her residents.
"With the general relief money kind of dwindling down this money couldn't have come at a better time at a better time because the relief package is gone," Spieker said.
The program will help eligible families with up to 12 months of rent and utility payments.
"I'm super excited for you to hear in three months how much this program helped people because when I tell you it's life-changing for our residents," Spieker said. "It's literally life-changing for them."
To be eligible, you have to make below 80% of the area median income, have qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income because of the coronavirus and be able to demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability.
This can be proven with past due utility or rent notices or an eviction notice.
Another assistance program that started accepting applications Monday is the Iowa Homeowner Foreclosure Prevention Program.
This helps homeowners with mortgage payments for up to four months if they are facing imminent foreclosure.
Each qualifying household can get a maximum of $3,600.