Iowa Department of Human Rights Newsletter

iowa department of human rights

October 1, 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.

IMPACT Community Action Partnership Commended for Rental Assistance Program

The U.S. Department of Treasury commended the City of Des Moines and Polk County for creating a low barrier program for applicants that provides rental and utility assistance, implemented through IMPACT Community Action Partnership. The program has a strong relationship with the local court system to provide real-time support to those facing potential evictions.  The program has also developed relationships with local refugee organizations to support program accessibility for these populations.  From February to September 2021, $26.2 million in rental assistance helped 11,475 individuals, including 5,198 children.  Congratulations to this central Iowa partnership for offering a high-performing program, and thank you for helping families stay in their homes. 

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. 

Pandemic Relief for Iowa Foster Youth and Alumni

The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) will be extending pandemic relief for Iowa foster youth and alumni.  DHS will continue to deliver Pandemic Relief for Iowa Foster Youth and Alumni primarily through contracted service providers, including YSS, which oversees the statewide Iowa Aftercare Services Network and Achieving Maximum Potential (AMP), the Iowa foster care youth council. As of August 30, 2021, more than 1,200 young adults who have aged out of foster care applied for and received financial support, including but not limited to a $750 pandemic relief payment.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act includes time and age limits on the use of funds, specifically an upper age limit of 22 after September 30, 2021. Also, the moratorium on aging out at age 18 and opportunity to re-enter foster care expires on September 30, 2021. To ensure seamless support when allowable, eligible youth will be referred to the Iowa Aftercare Services Network for continued support and services. Other Pandemic Relief for Iowa Foster Youth and Alumni will be extended or continued with modifications, including:  

  • Direct Payment to Foster Care Alumni: For young adults ages 18 through 22 who have aged out of foster care, DHS will extend the deadline to apply for a direct pandemic relief payment of $750 through June 2022. The Iowa Aftercare Services Network will continue to administer the application process and make payments to eligible youth on behalf of DHS. (Authority to provide this aid to youth over the age of 23 expires on September 30, 2021.) Young people under age 27 who have already received a pandemic relief payment earlier this year will also receive an additional payment of $500 later this month. Youth do not need to re-apply to receive the second payment but will be asked to confirm or update their address. Finally, to the extent funds remain available, DHS may make subsequent, smaller payments to eligible youth periodically through September 30, 2022.
  • Extra Support for Teens in Foster Care: DHS will provide additional funds to support social, extracurricular, and cultural activities. Fo$ter Fund$ grants (temporarily up to $600 per child) are available to youth ages 14 and older who are currently in a foster care placement, including family foster care, group care, and supervised apartment living. Up to $300 per year is also available to relative caregivers through a similar program called Kinship Funds.
  • Increased Education and Training Voucher Program (ETV) Funding: ETV contractor Iowa College Aid and DHS will offer a maximum $12,000 for the 2021-2022 school year. Part-time students will receive a pro-rated amount based on enrollment.

Additional information regarding these and other features of Pandemic Relief for Iowa Foster Youth and Alumni, including application information, is available on the Iowa Aftercare pandemic relief webpage here

For DHS’s full list of COVID-19 resources, visit

It's a CelebrAsian!


Interested in learning more about Asians in Iowa?  Come see the Iowa Department of Human Rights' poster display of data and Iowa's resettlement history at the University of Iowa Building, 1200 Grand Ave., Des Moines (corner of Grand Ave. and 12th St.).  For more information about CelebrAsian, click here:  Iowa Asian Alliance CelebrAsian.

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)

Previous Newsletters

Are there other resources we should know about? Let us know.

To unsubscribe from this newsletter, click here or navigate to the "Manage Subscriptions" section below.

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