IOWA — Sixty-one Iowa communities will split nearly $20 million in federal funding to provide housing specifically in the downtown area of small towns. The money comes from the American Rescue Act that was signed by President Biden last year. Democratic US Congresswoman Cindy Axne was the only Iowa member of Congress to vote in favor of that bill.

The awards range in size from $100,000-$600,000. Among the larger awards were a project in Winterset to convert a former high school into senior housing and another in Jefferson to convert a former Middle School. Most of the awards were for ‘upper story conversions’ of second story apartments that are familiar in many Iowa small-town squares.

You can see the full list of awards here on the Iowa Economic Development Agency’s website. According to the Governor’s office, 466 new homes will be created with the funds. Ninety-four communities had applied with $31 million in funding requests.