Financial Assistance for Flood, Tornado Victims

USDA's Rural Development agency has funds available for disaster relief efforts in Iowa.

USDA Rural Development funds are available for communities, businesses and homeowners impacted by the recent tornados and floods in Iowa.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Iowans who have been affected by the high number of tornados and record flooding, especially to those who lost loved ones, to those who lost property and to those helping with clean-up efforts," says Mark Reisinger, state director of USDA's Rural Development Agency in Iowa.

Rural communities, businesses and homeowners in presidentially-declared disaster areas will receive priority consideration during the application process for USDA Rural Development funds.

More counties declared disaster areas

As of June 18 the following 29 counties in Iowa have been declared Presidential disaster areas: Adams, Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Cedar, Cerro Gordo, Clayton, Delaware, Des Moines, Fayette, Floyd, Fremont, Hardin, Harrison, Johnson, Jones, Linn, Louisa, Marion, Muscatine, Page, Polk, Story, Tama, Union and Winneshiek.

* Community assistance. Rural communities who have lost businesses can apply for special Rural Business Enterprise Grant funding. These funds can help local businesses in a variety of ways including the repair of buildings or new-building construction costs, as well as for the acquisition or development of land for a new business site. Communities can also use funds to set up a revolving loan fund to provide ongoing business assistance.

Community facilities such as libraries, childcare centers, hospitals and fire and rescue emergency centers that have been damaged or destroyed may apply for USDA Rural Development funding.
The agency is also making available Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants to assist the communities that have had a significant decline in quantity or quality of drinking water.

* Housing assistance. USDA Rural Development has helped finance 550 apartment complexes in rural Iowa providing residents' access to more than 10,000 apartments. The agency is working with local apartment managers all across the state to make available all vacant units for residents displayed by flooding or tornados.

Rural Development also provides no-down-payment home loans to qualifying individuals, as well as financing to help homeowners with removing health and safety hazards from the home and make other needed improvements.

Finally, the agency is expediting the approval process for all lenders who sign up for Rural Development's guaranteed underwriting system. The system pre-qualifies home-loan applications in a matter of seconds to assure timely loan decisions for families.

For more information about any of these programs, call USDA Rural Development at 515-284-4663 or visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/ia.  

Rural Development is an equal opportunity lender with a variety of direct and guaranteed rural credit programs involving single and multi-family housing, community facilities, water and sewer development and business and industry programs. USDA Rural Development has 11 offices in Iowa serving 1.9 million Iowans living in rural areas. Office locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with area offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.

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