Up to $500,000 recently awarded for rural community programs in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (KWQC) – Four rural community funds in the state of Iowa are receiving an increase in their allocations.

In a statement from Gov. Kim Reynolds’ office, the state announced that up to $500,000 in stipends would go to four rural community programs providing funds for things like childcare and housing. A rural community is qualified as having a population of less than 20,000.

“By connecting, investing and growing our rural communities through these grant programs, we are elevating creative initiatives that will drive meaningful change in our rural communities and align with the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa initiative,” said Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg, co-chair. of the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative.

The four main programs receiving increased funding are:

  • Rural Innovation Grants Program – Provides up to $200,000 in grants supporting creative, non-traditional ideas that focus on current issues and challenges facing rural communities associated with the themes of community investment, growth and connection; the
  • Rural Housing Assessment Grant Program – Provides up to $100,000 to support the use of publicly available online information through the “Iowa Profile” tool and the efforts of rural communities to interpret this hard data with additional information, as well as to implement them by modifying development codes, local ordinances, and housing incentives specific to the needs of their community in partnership with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach; the
  • Rural Child Care Market Research Grant Program – Provides up to $100,000 to support the use of data and analytics by rural communities to identify specific needs and solutions for their region. In partnership with First Children’s Finance, program funding will enable communities to assess the current child care market environment and develop strategies; and the
  • Rural return program – Provides up to $100,000 to support creative programs that encourage new residents to move and/or work in rural communities. Grant funding will support the development and implementation of incentive programs.

Program applications can be submitted here and must be submitted by December 1, 2021 for the next fiscal year. Applicants receiving funds should receive notification by mid-December.

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