A $56 million emergency disaster relief bill was approved on a unanimous vote today by the House Rebuild Iowa and Disaster Recovery Committee.  The bill includes $22 million for housing assistance, $10 million for individual disaster grants, and $22 million for community disaster grants.

“Approval of this bill by the Rebuild Iowa Committee is a significant step forward in the process of helping Iowans recover from last year’s disasters.  The gap between need and current resources is huge, but we must make progress, and this bill is progress toward getting Iowans back in their homes and businesses back up and running,” said State Representative Tyler Olson of Cedar Rapids, who managed the bill.

In addition to the $24 million for housing, the bill also expands the eligibility criteria so more Iowans can receive down payment assistance, housing repair or rehabilitation, and interim mortgage assistance.  The $10 million for individual grants can be used for personal needs or mental health and also includes more Iowans.  The $22 million in community disaster grants will go directly to communities impacted by disasters based on their share of statewide damage estimates.

The bill now goes to the House Appropriations Committee.