Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative Awards $400,000 for Innovation Projects and Housing Studies in Rural Communities Across Iowa

Today, the Iowa Economic Development Authority announced $400,000 in Rural Innovation grants and Rural Housing Assessment grants that have been awarded to 21 communities across the state. This is the inaugural round for the Rural Innovation and Rural Housing Assessment programs, which were developed in 2019 by the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative.
The Rural Innovation Grant Program supports creative, non-traditional ideas that focus on current issues and challenges faced by rural communities associated with the themes of community investment, growth and connection. The Rural Housing Assessment Grant Program supports the use of publicly available online information through the “Profile of Iowa” tool and rural community efforts to interpret the hard data; it also helps implement changes to development codes, local ordinances, and housing incentives specific to a community’s needs in partnership with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
“We do big things in rural Iowa, and public private partnerships continue to open new doors to the creative thinking and entrepreneurial spirit that exists in all corners of the state,” said Gov. Reynolds. “The investments announced today support everyday Iowans who are thinking outside the box to address the challenges that exist in their communities. I believe these unique projects will serve as a growth model for even greater prosperity in our small towns and rural communities.”

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