Rental Assistance


Rent assistance is available for qualifying households that generally have enough income month to month to remain in their home but which have experienced a temporary financial disruption, or hardship, for which they need one-time assistance.   

Income limits apply, but applicants also must demonstrate having at least enough current income to remain in their home after the month of assistance. 

Applicants meeting the definition of "Persons Unavailable for Employment" may also qualify for assistance

Rent assistance is not intended or likely to cover a full month of rent.  Most applicants will need to show they can pay for the remaining amount of their rent in order to qualify for assistance

Documentation of rent obligation and income is required.  Your landlord must also agree to accept a payment voucher from General Assistance.  We do not issue payment directly to applicants. 


  • Polk County Residency 
  • Valid photo identification
  • Social security card (only needed if you are applying for the first time)
  • Verification of all household income and expenses from the last 30 days
  • Eligibility requires applicants to provide evidence there is income going back at least 30 days, and continuing, and that their current rent and utilities are affordable in future months
  • If eligible, General Assistance will provide assistance based on family size
  • For rent assistance your landlord must be willing to accept a Polk County voucher for what is likely only a portion of your rent and must agree not to evict for 30 days for non-payment of rent
  • A properly completed Landlord Statement

To apply for assistance, fill out an online application or a paper application and bring it to the General Assistance office.  You can also apply by phone by calling (515) 286-2088 or by sending an e-mail to In most cases, an interview will take 15-20 minutes to complete.

Due to the high volume of on-line applications, please allow up to three (3) days for staff to contact you for an interview.  If you need immediate assistance, please come to our office at Polk County River Place, 2309 Euclid Ave, Des Moines.