As thousands of Iowans continue to file for unemployment each week, out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic, they will face a new challenge: paying rent or a mortgage.
Up until now, the state had waived rent and mortgage payments and had suspended all evictions because of the health crisis. That moratorium was set to expire on Wednesday at midnight. Gov. Kim Reynolds announced on Tuesday that she is choosing not to extend the regulation, but instead is putting together a fund for Iowans to apply for money to help out with housing payments.
"I know that some Iowans who have experienced a reduction of income due to COVID-19 may have difficulty paying their rent or mortgage payments in the months to come," said Reynolds. "To provide continued relief to those families, I will be allocating funding through the state's funding from the CARES Act funds for the creation of a COVID-19 eviction and foreclosure prevention program which will be administered by the Iowa Finance Authority."
The program applies to residential foreclosures and Iowans who have experienced a documented loss of income due to COVID-19. It's not clear how the application process works or how much money each Iowan will receive if they are approved for the money. Reynolds could not give out a total amount of money in the new fund, but said more details would become available at the end of the week.
Reynolds told reporters on Tuesday that there would not be any lag time between getting the program up and allowing Iowans to get funds to help make their payments. But for thousands of Iowans and their landlords, payments are due at the beginning of the month, which is next Monday.