Programs Available through North Iowa Regional Housing Authority

NIRHA currently administers two programs: Public Housing and
Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher.


How to apply


Public Housing Program

Public Housing properties are owned by NIRHA and the Authority manages and leases the properties. Units owned and managed by NIRHA are leased to low-income people on an income-based rental, or at a flat rental rate, depending upon what the resident chooses.


Often referred to as “project based assistance”, the public housing program was established to provide decent and safe rental housing for eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Public housing comes in all sizes and types, from scattered single family houses to highrise apartments for elderly families. It is referred to as “project based assistance” because the rental assistance is tied to the unit and not to the family.  If the family moves out of the unit, the assistance terminates.


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers federal aid to local housing authorities that manage the housing for low-income residents at rents they can afford. HUD furnishes technical and professional assistance in planning, developing and managing these developments.

The North Iowa Regional Housing Authority (NIRHA) Public Housing Program consists of 121 units of public housing located in ten family and senior developments. Unit sizes range from one to four bedrooms (not all sizes available at all sites).


To learn more about public housing, click here.

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher
Housing Choice Voucher properties are owned and managed by private landlords who are willing to participate with the Voucher program.  NIRHA subsidizes part of the resident's rent to the landlord making the housing affordable for the resident.


The housing choice voucher program (HCV) is the federal government's major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments. Unlike the Public Housing program, the assistance is tied to the family rather than the unit.  If the family moves out of one unit into another one, or even to another community or state, the assistance could be transferred with the family.


The participant is free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and is not limited to units located in subsidized housing projects like public housing.
Housing choice vouchers are administered locally by housing authorities. The housing authority receives federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to administer the voucher program.


A family that is issued a housing voucher is responsible for finding a suitable housing unit of the family's choice if the owner agrees to rent under the program. This unit may include the family's present residence. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by the housing authority.


A housing subsidy is paid directly to the landlord by the housing authority on behalf of the participating family. The family pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program.


The North Iowa Regional Housing Authority (NIRHA) has contract authority with HUD to assist a maximum of 383 families throughout the eight county jurisdiction.  However, due to continual budget reductions, NIRHA has not received sufficient funding to assist that number of families.


To learn more about Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher, click here.