Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative Awards $400,000 for Innovation Projects and Housing Studies in Rural Communities Across Iowa


July 14th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Economic Development Authority today (Tuesday) announced $400,000 in Rural Innovation grants and Rural Housing Assessment grants have been awarded to 21 communities across the state. Among them is Creston, Manning and Stanton. Officials say this is the inaugural round for the Rural Innovation and Rural Housing Assessment programs, which were developed in 2019 by the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative.
Area 2020 Rural Innovation $20,000 Grant recipients/Amount/Project/Total Project Cost (TPC):
  • City of Lenox, for a Main Street Pocket Park (TPC $90,000)
  • City of Stanton, for downtown renovations, including signage (TPC $553,400)
  • SWIPCO (City of Atlantic), for a complete building rehab for commercial and Airbnb (TPC $315,992)
  • TB Ramsey Enterprises, LLC (Regions around Lenox & Manning), for a rural grocery store delivery system. (TPC $60,000)
In addition to the Rural Innovation grants, the cities of Creston, Central City, Manning, Springville, Keokuk and Stanton received Rural Housing Assessment grants and will be working with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach to undergo a facilitated readiness assessment and implementation process.
2020 Rural Housing Assessment $10,000 Grant recipients/Projects/funding amount:
  • SICOG (Southern IA Council of Governments), City of Creston: Facilitation w/ISU Extension & Implementation.
  • City of Manning: Facilitation w/ISU Extension & Implementation.
  • City of Stanton: Facilitation w/ISU Extension & Homebuilder Share Program.
Debi Durham, Iowa Economic Development and Iowa Finance Authority Director, says “With access to supportive programs and creative ideas from the awarded communities, the projects will be used as models to be replicated across the state, serving as best practices. Both of the rural grant programs align with the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative to revitalize communities, and we are proud to support our rural areas.”
For more information on the Rural Innovation or Rural Housing Assessment programs, visit A full list of the 2020 Rural Innovation and Rural Housing Assessment Grant recipients (applicant, population, project type, description, amount, total project cost) is available online.