Bee Branch Healthy Homes Resiliency Program 


Over 300 Housing Units Now More Resilient

Many residents in the Bee Branch Watershed have experienced repeated flash flooding from stormwater during heavy rain events, including six Presidential Disaster Declarations since 1999. As a result, they are living with residual structural issues, electrical hazards, and chronic mold and mildew problems.

The Bee Branch Healthy Homes Resiliency Program included $8.4 million awarded to properties where low- to moderate-income residents reside in the form of forgivable loans to make repairs and implement onsite stormwater management principles to decrease environmental health and safety issues from flooding. 

Grant funds were exhausted and the program concluded in 2022. Over 300 housing units in the Bee Branch Watershed were made more resilient, including owner-occupied homes, single-unit rentals, and small, multi-family residential units. Examples of improvements include:

  • Foundation repairs and modifications
  • Furnace replacement
  • Water heater replacement
  • Basement window repairs
  • Mold and mildew remediation
  • Lead paint and asbestos remediation
  • Sidewalk improvements
  • Sump pump repair/installation
  • Property drainage improvements
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In January 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the City of Dubuque $31.5 million in disaster resiliency funds for the Bee Branch Healthy Homes Resiliency Program and stormwater infrastructure improvements including the Bee Branch Creek Railroad Culverts and West Locust Street and Kaufmann Avenue storm sewer projects. The City of Dubuque partnered with the State of Iowa to apply for the federal funds through the National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC), which invited communities that experienced natural disasters in 2011, 2012, or 2013 to compete for funds to help them rebuild and increase their resilience to future disasters.

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Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA)

Through the Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA), Iowans will work together to address factors that contribute to floods and nutrient flows. This adaptive model, supported by HUD dollars through the NDRC, will leverage the principles of Iowa’s innovative Nutrient Reduction Strategy to make our communities more resilient to flooding and help improve water quality. The Bee Branch Watershed is one of nine distinct watersheds across Iowa serving as project sites for the IWA.