HUD National Disaster Resilience Competition: Frequently Asked Questions about the State of Iowa's Award
1. Why did the State pursue this grant? How will this award benefit the State of Iowa?
State leaders recognized an opportunity to advance two important public policy objectives – mitigating flood risks and improving water quality. Through this new federal funding, the State of Iowa will continue collaborative efforts in both urban and rural areas to reduce flooding and install voluntary new water quality practices. Quite simply, reducing flooding and advancing water quality will lead to a more resilient Iowa. Specifically, the Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA) will accomplish six goals in nine targeted watersheds. These goals include reducing flood risk for Iowa communities, improving water quality for its residents, increasing disaster resiliency for our homes and infrastructure, improving the quality of life and health for vulnerable populations, and developing a scalable program approach that is replicable through the Midwest and the United States.
2. How will funds be spent in this program?
Funds will be divided among Iowa cities and counties for flood risk reduction and water quality initiatives. The University of Iowa Flood Center in partnership, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, (among many others) will strategically plan and implement voluntary best land management practices to accomplish the goals and objectives of the program.
As part of the State’s application, the City of Dubuque will be implementing a healthy homes program and infrastructure improvements for flood risk reduction and quality of life benefits for their residents.
In addition, the cities of Coralville and Storm Lake will advance important water infrastructure projects in their communities.
3. Do I live in a community that will receive funding?
Eligible communities were identified as part of the application process and will be announced as award details are finalized. The State’s application focused on water infrastructure in the cities of Coralville, Dubuque, and Storm Lake and the following nine watersheds: Bee Branch Creek; Clear Creek; East Nishnabotna; English River; North Raccoon River; Middle Cedar River; Upper Iowa; Upper Wapsipinicon River; and West Nishnabotna River.
4. Where can I find more information about the program?
The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) will act as the Point of Contact for the award details as they are available. Interim questions can be directed to Tim Waddell at (515) 240-3746 or Jessica Turba at (515) 725-9383.
5. How long is the implementation phase?
The scope of work, as outlined in the application, will take five years to be implemented. More details will be made available as grant details are finalized.
6. What organizations actively supported the application?
The IWA program is a collaboration of numerous agencies, universities, non-profits, and local entities. Partners include:
- Iowa Economic Development Authority
- Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
- University of Iowa/Iowa Flood Center
- Iowa State University
- University of Northern Iowa
- Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
- Iowa Department of Natural Resources
- Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Iowa Soil and Water Conservation Districts
- The Nature Conservancy
- Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
- Iowa Corn Growers Association
- Iowa Soybean Association
- Iowa Farm Bureau
- Iowa Agricultural Water Alliance
- Iowa Resource Conservation and Development offices
- Iowa Department of Transportation
- Iowa State Association of Counties
- Silver Jackets flood risk management team
- Various county and municipal officials, and many others
7. How does this grant/project connect with the Iowa Flood Mitigation Program established within the Code of Iowa, Chapter 418?
The Iowa Flood Mitigation Program provides $596 million in state sales tax increment funds for urban flood mitigation projects that total $1.3 billion. Government entities will utilize this funding for mitigation projects that reduce flooding and improve water quality within their respective jurisdictions.
The HUD grant supplements the Iowa Flood Mitigation Program’s urban flood mitigation projects, as it adds federal resources that build on the efforts of government entities by addressing the impact of rural watersheds on flooding in urban areas.
8. How does Iowa’s grant compare to that of other states/communities?
Iowa’s successful grant application joins only 12 other winning grant applications from across the nation. Iowa’s grant of $96.9 million dollars is the fourth largest grant award. Iowa’s award accounts for nearly 10 percent of the total grant dollars awarded nationally in the competition, further demonstrating that Iowa’s commitment to advancing flood reduction and water quality laid the foundation for a successful application.
9. Final amounts may vary, but the awarded option of the State’s application called for:
- $8.4 M for the Dubuque Healthy Homes project,
- $23.1 M for Dubuque infrastructure,
- $6.5 M for Storm Lake infrastructure,
- $1.8 M for Coralville infrastructure,
- $5.3 M for data collection, analysis and modeling,
- $2.3 M for watershed management coordinators,
- $31.5 M for investments in the targeted watersheds, and the remainder for robust planning and effective administration.
10. When will funds be available?
The State of Iowa responded to HUD’s Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) through the application process for this grant. The next step will be for HUD to submit a formal contract for the funds to the state which will be signed and returned to HUD. At that point, the state will be able to draw funds after environmental clearance has occurred and release of funds is approved on a project by project basis.
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