Unmet Needs Grants Deadline October 16 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Unmet Needs Grants Deadline October 16


More than 7,000 Iowans and 3,000 Iowa households have been helped so far by the Iowa Unmet Needs Disaster Grant Program, but the program comes to an end soon, according to the Rebuild Iowa Office.

The program provides grants of up to $ 2,500 to help Iowa's low and moderate income families and individuals recover from the record flood disaster of 2008. Iowans have only until October 16 to apply for the grant money. The program allocated $7.85 million dollars and most of that money have been used. Only $ 1.5 million remains availabe for Iowans in need. 

The Rebuild Iowa Office says October 16 wil be the last day impacted Iowans can submit an application to their local Long-Term Recovery Committee.  Applications which qualify will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis until the grants are no longer available.

The Iowa Unmet Needs Disaster Grant Program was launched in March and is part of the $56 million Rebuild Iowa Bill (House File 64) that was signed into law by Governor Chet Culver in February.  It is just one of the many programs put in place under the Culver/Judge Administration to rebuild after the state's largest disaster ever.

The program provides grants up to $2,500 per household to help pay for losses or expenses that were not covered by insurance, charities or government programs.  The grants are to be used for personal property, home repair, food assistance, mental health assistance, child care, transportation and temporary housing.  The grants are designed to cover immediate unmet needs for impacted individuals living in counties declared presidential disaster areas for Individual Assistance between May 24 and Aug.14, 2008.  Eligible households are those with incomes at or below 300 percent of federal poverty guidelines.

The program reimburses eligible expenses or, in cases where the applicant does not have up-front funds, can provide a voucher which will be paid to a vendor for an item or service.  Due to the application deadline, those applying now are asked to have receipts or vendor estimates in hand when submitting paperwork to their local Long-Term Recovery Committee.

To find out more about the program or to make a last-minute application, call the Iowa Concern Hotline at 1-800-447-1985 or go to the Rebuild Iowa Office Web site at www.rio.iowa.gov and click on the "Disaster Recovery Case Management" tab to make an appointment with your local Long-Term Recovery Committee.  Applications must first be screened by local Long-Term Recovery Committees before being sent to the Iowa Dept. of Human Services (DHS) for payment.

The Iowa Unmet Needs Disaster Grant Program is separate from the low-income Individual Disaster Assistance grant program, which is also administered by the DHS.  The state's Individual Assistance program provides grants up to $5,000 for households with incomes at or below 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines during disasters that are strictly Governor-declared.  For more information on this program, click on "Storm Help" on the DHS Web site at http://www.dhs.state.ia.us/.

Online reporter:  Ron Steele


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