The City's housing rehabilitation programs provide zero-interest loans and/or grants to homeowners to aid in making repairs to their homes. The Rehabilitation Office staff assists homeowners with home inspections, specifying work plans and repairs and obtaining bids from contractors.

Housing rehabilitation: Do you qualify?

The following conditions must be met for homes to be eligible:

  1. The home must be located within Iowa City limits.
  2. The nature or extent of the repairs and improvements cannot exceed what is considered structurally or financially reasonable.
  3. The home must be a single-family, owner-occupied residence.
  4. Adequate equity must exist in the home to secure the City's interest.
  5. Your gross household income must fall below 110 percent of the median income level for Iowa City, which depends on the number of people in your household. Some federal programs limit eligibility to households at lower incomes. 
  • Household size: 1 person, Maximum household income: $66,880
  • Household size: 2 persons, Maximum household income: $76,450
  • Household size: 3 persons, Maximum household income: $86,020
  • Household size: 4 persons, Maximum household income: $95,480
  • Household size: 5 persons, Maximum household income: $103,180
  • Household size: 6 persons, Maximum household income: $110,770
  • Household size: 7 persons, Maximum household income: $118,470
  • Household size: 8 persons, Maximum household income: $126,060
Loans

A lien or a mortgage will be placed on your property to secure the loan. Depending on the type of project and eligibility criteria, your project may include one or more of the following:

  • Zero interest loans - your monthly loan payment will not exceed 30% of your gross income.
  • Conditional occupancy (aka deferred payment) loans are not repaid until the property is sold or rented.
  • Low-interest loans repaid over a twenty year period.
Grants

If your home is located in one of the targeted areas, half of your project cost will be forgiven in five years.

Types of Rehabilitation eligible for assistance: 

Comprehensive rehabilitation 

Allows for the rehabilitation of a structure in order to meet housing quality standards of the Iowa City Housing Code. Eligible costs can include all those associated with major interior and exterior systems including furnaces, water, heater, fixed electrical equipment, sanitary fixtures, flooring, roofs, siding, windows, etc. Maximum available funds is $24,999 per project.

Emergency repair assistance 

Provides assistance for the correction of major violations of housing code standards which make the structure uninhabitable or unsafe. Maximum available funds per project is $10,000.

Housing Exterior Loan Program (H.E.L.P.)

The Housing Exterior Loan Program (H.E.L.P.) offers qualifying homeowners and landlords zero-interest loans for half of the cost of facade eligible improvements, up to $10,000. The property must be located in an university impacted neighborhood (link to map).  Improvements may include items such as:  exterior painting, siding and roof repair or replacement, window and door repair or replacement, porch repair, sidewalk or other concrete repair or replacement, landscaping and dumpster screening.

Approved rental property owners will have five years to repay the no-interest loan. For income-qualified owner-applicants, loans will be set up on a deferred payment basis that will not have to be repaid as long as the home remains the owner’s primary residence. Repayment will be due immediately upon sale of the property, change in ownership, or conversion to rental property.

For more information about the H.E.L.P. program, including homeowner income guidelines or a loan application, visit www.icgov.org/project/housing-code-amendment-updates. Additional questions may be directed to the City’s Neighborhood and Development Services Department at 319-356-5230 or neighborhoods@iowa-city.org.

Exterior repair 

Covers the cost of any exterior repair to the main structure including roof and gutter repair, siding, paint, foundation repair, windows, etc. Maximum available funds is $15,000 per project.

Residential accessibility 

Includes improvements to make a property accessible for homeowners who are disabled thus enabling them to live, independently, in the home. Eligible costs may include ramps, doorway widening, grab bars, handicapped toilets, etc. Maximum available funds is $16,000 per project.

Manufactured home repair

Applies only to repairs of items affecting home safety, such as doors, furnaces, water heaters, plumbing, electrical and steps. Maximum available funds is $5,000 per project.

Energy efficiency 

The Energy Efficiency Program runs Sept. 1 to March 1 each year based on funding availability. Eligible costs are limited to costs associated with the purchase of a high-efficiency furnace, the conversion or modification of heating or furnace systems, as well as costs for insulation. Maximum available funds is $4,000 per project.

How to apply

If you feel you qualify for assistance with your home rehabilitation project, submit the following application form to Liz Osborne, Housing Rehab, City of Iowa City, 410 E. Washington St., Iowa City 52240. If you have questions, contact Liz Osborne at 319-356-5246 or Liz-Osborne@Iowa-City.org.

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