Iowa Department of Human Rights Newsletter

iowa department of human rights

March 18, 2022

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.

Iowa Disaster Assistance

Governor Kim Reynolds has issued disaster proclamations recently for Adair, Benton, Decatur, Jasper, Lucas, Polk, Madison, Tama, Warren, and Wayne counties in response to the severe weather.  The proclamations activate the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program for qualifying residents, along with the Disaster Case Management Program.   

The Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program provides grants of up to $5,000 for households with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Grants are available for home or car repairs, replacement of clothing or food, and temporary housing expenses. Original receipts are required for those seeking reimbursement for actual expenses related to storm recovery. The grant application and instructions are available on the Iowa Department of Human Services website at Potential applicants have 45 days from the date of the proclamation to submit a claim.  
The Disaster Case Management Program addresses serious needs related to disaster-related hardship, injury, or adverse conditions. Disaster case managers work with clients to create a disaster recovery plan and provide guidance, advice, and referral to obtain a service or resource. There are no income eligibility requirements for this program; it closes 180 days from the date of the governor's proclamation. For information on the Disaster Case Management Program, contact your local community action association or visit

Moratorium on Utility Disconnections Ends April 1

The Iowa Utilities Board reminds customers that Iowa’s annual winter home heating moratorium ends April 1.  

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps low-income homeowners and renters pay a portion of their primary home heating costs through a one-time payment made directly to the utility company.  The last day to apply for LIHEAP is April 30, 2022. 

Customers who qualify for LIHEAP are protected from disconnection of natural gas or electric service from November 1 to April 1.  Customers currently protected from service disconnection can contact their local utility company to discuss payment options and avoid disconnection that could begin as soon as April 2.   Customers who receive a disconnection notice can contact their local community action agency to apply for crisis assistance.

Learn more about eligibility and crisis assistance by contacting your local community action agency.

Other Options

All utility customers, including those who do not qualify for energy assistance, may be eligible to enter into a reasonable payment agreement with their utility company that allows them to pay accumulated debt over time while maintaining utility service. Customers who were impacted by COVID-19 may qualify for assistance in paying their rent or water, gas, or electric utility bills through the Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program administered by the Iowa Finance Authority, or by calling the Housing Recovery Support Team at 855-300-5885.

Iowa Utilities Board Customer Service staff is available to assist customers with questions about utility service disconnection or other issues that are not resolved directly with their utility company. Call 877-565-4450 or email

Legal Assistance

If you are not able to pay your bills, you have certain rights and remedies.  Visit Iowa Legal Aid's website for information on health hazards, military deployment, and other options to avoid disconnection.  

Iowa Youth Congress 

The Iowa Department of Human Rights is accepting applications for the 2022-2023 term of Iowa Youth Congress.  Iowa Youth Congress is a diverse and dynamic group made of up to 100 high school aged youth.  The Department will provide training and skill building in the areas of leadership, advocacy, and civic engagement.  Applications are due June 3, 2022. 

To learn more about IYC:

To Apply:

Iowa Women's Hall of Fame Nominations Open

The Iowa Women's Hall of Fame honors women who make history for their contributions in a multitude of fields like education, arts, science, sports, and public service. If you would like to nominate someone for the 2022 Iowa Women's Hall of Fame, visit the Iowa Department of Human Rights' website by clicking here: Women's Hall of FameThe nomination deadline is April 1, 2022.

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 Test Kits 

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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
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