The Iowa Finance Authority board has approved more than $3.6 million in homeless assistance grants to help 49 agencies with homelessness assistance initiatives during the 2018 calendar year. The funding is made available through the federal Emergency Solutions Grant program and the state Shelter Assistance Fund. The Iowa Finance Authority conducted a combined competition for the two programs and received 50 applications, which were scored in several categories, including project design, experience and capacity, community partnerships, performance, and budget and grants management. Twenty-four agencies were awarded more than $2.6 million through the Emergency Solutions program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and by the Iowa Finance Authority. Twenty-five agencies were awarded more than $1 million through the Shelter Assistance Fund for the 2018 calendar year. The program is funded with 5 percent of the proceeds from the real estate transfer tax.