Home and Community-Based Services Eligibility Information

For a person to be eligible for the HCBS Rent Subsidy program they must meet the following criteria:

HCBS Recipient: The person must currently be 18 years or older and an approved participant of Money Follows the Person or one of the home-and community-based services waiver programs, including Habilitation services. 

Demonstrated Need: The person must provide evidence that they are responsible for paying more than 30% of their income for rent and they have been determined ineligible, or have been placed on a waiting list, for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rental assistance or other available rental subsidy programs.

Persons receiving other rental assistance at the time of, or prior to the time of application to the HCBS Rent Subsidy program are not eligible. A person who declines a HUD Housing Choice Voucher or fails to respond to a notice from the public housing authority when a voucher becomes available is no longer eligible for the HCBS Rent Subsidy Program. The Housing Choice Voucher is also referred to as a Section 8 voucher.

Qualified Rental Unit: The person must live in a qualified rental unit. A qualified rental unit is an apartment, mobile home or private room for which a signed written rental agreement exists and which is governed by Iowa Code Chapter 562A. A qualified rental unit does not include a home owned by a person living in the unit.

Amount of Rent Subsidy: Maximum monthly payment shall be equal to the rent paid, not to exceed 100% of the eligible applicant’s county of residence Fair Market Rent (FMR) as determined by HUD, minus 30% of the gross income of the eligible applicant. The FMR shall be that of a one-bedroom unit or a proportionate share of the rental cost in units containing more than one bedroom.

When the Iowa Finance Authority receives an application for rent subsidy, they determine if the applicant meets the HCBS Rent Subsidy program rules and if adequate funds are available to provide subsidy for the payment period. For eligible applicants, the following formula is used to determine the amount of monthly rent subsidy:


Start with     

Whichever is less:
Actual Rent
Fair Market Rent               

To determine Fair Market Rent for the county that the apartment is located (based on number of bedrooms)
Divide by             Number of bedrooms One bedroom or proportionate share of a rental unit with more than one bedroom*
This equals     Allowable rent ÷ number of bedrooms          The proportionate rent allowed for a single person
Multiply by Proportionate rent The applicant and dependent relatives **, if any
This equals Adjusted proportionate rent                                           The adjusted proportionate rent allowed
Subtract Gross monthly income × 30% 30% of the applicant's monthly income (contribution towards rent)
The remainder Amount of rent subsidy The monthly rent subsidy that should be received each month until there is a change in the applicant’s situation

*The “proportionate share of a rental unit” definition has been clarified by the Attorney General as equal to one bedroom of a multi-bedroom rental unit. An exception can be made for qualified dependent relative, as defined by the State Supplemental Assistance (SSA) program.
**A dependent relative may be the applicant’s spouse (who is not eligible for supplemental security income), parent or child. The dependent relative must be both financially dependent on the applicant and living with the applicant.

Redetermination of Eligibility
The eligibility of persons receiving the rent subsidy will be evaluated: at least every 12 months; or when a change in circumstances occurs that affects eligibility; or when the applicant moves from the residence stated on the application; or when there is a change of $100 or more in gross monthly income. Recipients of the rent subsidy are required to report, within 10 business days, any changes that may affect eligibility in the program. Failure to do so may result in responsibility for repayment of funds and/or termination of the rent subsidy.

Termination of Rent Subsidy
Rent subsidy shall terminate at the end of the month in which any of the following occur: the person does not meet an eligibility requirement; or completion of required documentation is not received; or no further funds are available for the rent subsidy program.