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Derelict Building Grant Program

Grants to Iowa Nonprofits and Municipalities to
Rehabilitate Abandoned and Neglected Buildings

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Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

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Grants to Iowa nonprofit organizations, and city and county governments for the reuse and recycling of abandoned commercial or public buildings. Funding is intended to support the deconstruction, renovation, and remediation of building hazards in order to remove the environmental and health concerns these buildings may pose. Applicants must commit to keeping at least 30 percent of the structure waste from the local landfill.

Many rural Iowa communities struggle with abandoned or vacant (derelict) commercial buildings. These structures pose an environmental and economic detriment to their communities. In Iowa, abandoned structures deteriorate at a rate that can affect the Iowans’ health and safety due to lack of maintenance and responsible ownership. Many of these buildings present health hazards like asbestos, compromised structural integrity and hazardous chemicals. They also impair local growth by diminishing property values and increasing maintenance costs for rural communities.

Reducing Costs:

The DNR Derelict Building Grant Program emphasizes landfill diversion through the reuse and recycling of building items. Applicants wishing to remove buildings must keep at least 30 percent of the structure waste, by weight, from the local landfill. Diverting building materials from the landfill benefits the town by reducing project disposal costs. The program also helps improve street appearance and lessens financial and environmental impacts. This approach has benefited 122 rural communities across the state by saving them a combined $1.5 million in landfill disposal fees.

Improving Environment and Rebuilding Communities:

Rural communities can remove the environmental, health and safety concerns these buildings pose by remediating hazards, deconstructing, renovating,or a combination of all three activities. Since its inception, the program has awarded more than $2 million to rural communities across Iowa.

Identify C and D Diversion markets:

  • Applicants may work with local businesses, farmers, landowners, etc. to find markets for C&D materials.
  • You may also contact the Iowa Waste Exchange representative in your area.  They may be able to assist you in finding diversion markets for building materials and there is no cost to you for their services.
  • If you’re having trouble finding a contractor the Iowa Waste Reduction Center has a list of contractors that may be of assistance.
  • Another option is to contact your local Solid Waste Planning Agency, they may have options to assist you in diverting C&D materials.

For assistance types, see the Fact Sheet in the Supporting Documents section below.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 149572


Additional Eligibility Criteria:

There are three areas of eligibility criteria:
- Building must not reside on the National Historic Register.
- Only a City or County government with a population of less than 5,000 may be an applicant and they must own or be in the process of owning the building. Applicants may partner with non-profits on projects, but building must be owned by applicant.
- The building must be a former commercial or public building that’s been abandoned for at least six months.

Pre-Application Information:

FY 2020 application deadline is February 20, 2020, for applicants who are seeking funding assistance with conducting asbestos inspections, asbestos abatement, structural engineering analysis, phase I and phase II site assessments, building deconstruction and building renovation expenses.

List of Contractors:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

If your project is eligible and you are interested in applying, please contact Scott Flagg. Scott may be reached by phone at 515-725-8318 or via email at

Iowa Department of Natural Resources
502 E. 9th St., Des Moines, IA 50319-0034

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Iowa

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