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USDA to Provide $4 Million to Help Rural Iowa Communities Affected by Natural Disasters

Matthew Doyle
Des Moines
Release Date

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development has $4 million in grants available through the Community Facilities Program to help rural Iowa communities continue their recovery from the devastating effects of floods and other natural disasters.

 “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to assisting rural communities in the aftermath of natural disasters,” said Grant Menke, State Director of USDA Rural Development in Iowa. “With a historic amount of disaster grant funding available through the Community Facilities Program, we look forward to partnering with natural disaster-impacted rural Iowa communities on their road to long-term recovery.”

The $4 million in grant funding for Iowa was made available through the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act that President Trump signed into law on June 6, 2019. That legislation included $150 million nationwide for grants that may be used for relief in areas affected by Hurricanes Michael and Florence; wildfires in 2018; and other natural disasters where the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has provided a notice declaring a Major Disaster Declaration and assigned a FEMA disaster recovery (DR) number. Rural communities in 87 Iowa counties are eligible for this disaster grant funding.  

Grant applications will be accepted at USDA Rural Development’s Iowa area offices on a continual basis until funds are exhausted. Grant assistance will be provided on a graduated scale; smaller communities with the lowest median household income are eligible for a higher proportion of grant funds.

More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations, and federally recognized Native American tribes. Projects must be in eligible rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less.

In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a cornerstone recommendation of the task force.

To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/ia.