Iowa Department of Human Rights Newsletter

iowa department of human rights

September 17, 2021

The Iowa Department of Human Rights (DHR) brings strength to Iowa's rich heritage.  Our three divisions - Community Action Agencies, Community Advocacy and Services, and Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning - work to reduce cultural, social, and economic barriers to opportunities for Iowans to succeed.

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps qualifying low-income Iowa homeowners and renters pay for a portion of their primary heating costs for the winter heating season. The assistance is based on household income, household size, type of fuel, and type of housing. View eligibility guidelines.

The program will accept applications beginning October 1, 2021, for households who have a member that is at least 60 years of age, or disabled, or where disconnection is imminent.  All others may apply beginning November 1, 2021.  The last day to apply is April 30, 2022.

Applications are taken at your local community action agency.  Anyone facing disconnection at any time should contact their local community action agency for assistance.

To find your local agency, you may call 2-1-1 or visit, or contact:

     Iowa Department of Human Rights
     321 E. 12th St.
     Des Moines, IA  50319
     (515) 242-5655 or 1-800-351-4659

An applicant may initiate an appeal if the application was denied, or incorrect facts or improper procedures were used to determine eligibility, assistance amounts, or services. For more information on appeal and hearing procedure in multiple languages, visit Appeal & Hearing Procedure.

Weatherization Assistance Program

Households applying for LIHEAP will also be applying for the Weatherization Assistance Program.  Weatherization is a federal grant program established to help reduce the heating and cooling costs for low income persons, particularly the elderly, disabled, and children, by improving the energy efficiency of their homes, thereby reducing the households’ energy bills. The program also improves the health and safety of low-income homes. 

Minority Down Payment Assistance Program

The new Minority Down Payment Assistance program offers eligible Iowans with a $5,000 down payment and closing cost assistance grant when paired with a FirstHome program mortgage. The grant may be combined with Iowa Finance Authority's Plus grant of $2,500 or $5,000 2nd loan option. The program is subject to funding availability.  For more information and eligibility requirements, visit Iowa Finance Authority's website. 

Latino Heritage Month

Join the Iowa Department of Human Rights in celebrating Latino Heritage Month September 15-October 15, a time to honor and recognize the contributions Latinos have made to our state and to society. 

Resources and events:  

Latinos 2020

Click image for additional pages

Siouxland Magazine's 10 Under 40

Congratulations to Peggy La for being honored in Siouxland Magazine's Ten under 40! Peggy is a member of the Iowa Department of Human Rights' Commission on the Status of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. Read more about Peggy and how she is contributing to the community:  Siouxland Magazine. Congratulations to all the winners!

COVID-19 Language Resources

American Sign Language Videos-CDC

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-Resources for Limited English Proficient Populations

Congolese Health Partnership Videos

Coronavirus, State Website

Crescent Community Health Center-Marshallese Language

EMBARC Ethnic Minorities of Burma and Advocacy and Resource Center

Hawaii Office of Language Access-Youtube

Iowa Department of Human Rights-Language Access

Iowa Department of Public Health

Iowa Spanish Helpline 515-344-3936 

Multi-Lingual Hotline  1-877-558-2609

Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa  

Test Iowa-Free COVID-19 Testing (Spanish available)

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Iowa Department of Human Rights
Lucas State Office Building
321 E 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
515-242-5640 or 1-800-351-4659
Contact Us Form